“This module was thought as highly specialized training course on the EU-Western Balkans Cooperation on Justice and Home Affairs addressed to students, graduates and PhD candidates, but also to all stakeholders (legal operators, judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials, civil servants and civil society, policy makers) who are already or are entering the world of professions in this geographical area.”

Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans is the most important joint operational platform put in place by the EU to combat internal threats. Cooperation among regional and national institutions in fighting serious and organised crime, as well as among investigation institutions of the countries of the region and the EU (for example, through so-called Joint Investigation Teams) is crucial to improving overall security.

Indeed, the Western Balkan region is of fundamental geo-strategic interest for security within and outside Europe. Thus, EU policy towards the Western Balkans has concerned a form of regional security cooperation that is instrumental in addressing the security challenges facing the region (the fight against migrant smuggling and organised crime, corruption, terrorism, drug trafficking, etc.), and essential for their gradual integration in the EU in compliance with the EU principles of the rule of law, justice, democracy, and respect for fundamental rights. The EU’s Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP), aiming at bringing the potential candidate countries’ legislation and standards closer to those of the EU, firstly supports the implementation of peace agreements to restore political security in the area. Secondly, it seeks to put in place a new, strengthened approach for Balkan Countries, including a wide range of financial, economic, and political aid. Moreover, it aims mainly at the conclusion of specific agreements (SAA) with each country, with a view to EU accession once the Copenhagen criteria are fulfilled. Based on common democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law, each SAA establishes permanent cooperation structures. Thus, EU policy towards the Western Balkans is related to regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations, going far beyond the enlargement policy.


As well known, the European Commission in 2018 launched a new strategy for “a credible enlargement perspective”, confirming the European future of the Balkan region as a geostrategic investment for a stable, strong, and united Europe based on common values.
Therefore, offering qualified training to those who already cooperate (or intend to cooperate) with the Balkan countries is of vital importance. In this perspective, the module complies with the objectives and priorities of the Jean Monnet Activities, aiming at enhancing the European dimension at the university level by organizing a highly specialized training course seeking to provide an in-depth and technical analysis of the JHA sector that is one of the main areas of cooperation between the EU and Western Balkans, and a matter of extreme political importance for the EU. Indeed, in line with the EU’s ‘new approach’ to the accession process, opening chapters on judicial reform and fundamental rights (Chapter 23), and justice, freedom, and security (Chapter 24), has been a top priority in the negotiations with Montenegro and Serbia, also in view of the forthcoming opening of negotiations with other Balkan countries, such as Albania and North Macedonia. Therefore, the module:

  • Contributes to focusing on concrete reforms of the Western Balkan legal system to comply with the EU accession requirements.
  • Fosters dialogue between the academic world, legal operators, and policymakers directly affected by the implementation of the legal reforms.
  • Constitutes the basis for future poles of European knowledge also for candidate countries and particularly for Albanian students and professors who already take advantage of Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility.
  • Delivers tailor-made activities on specific EU issues relevant for graduates and professionals.
  • Promotes the publication and dissemination of the results as OER.