FECL 27 (September 1994):

GERMAN-ESTONIAN COOPERATION ON ORGANISED CRIME

Germany and Estonia have signed a treaty on cooperation in the fight against organised crime, terrorism and other serious forms of crime.

Co-operation under the treaty signed on 7 March includes both crime prevention and prosecution and is particularly aimed at drug related crime, money laundering, car theft and smuggling, smuggling of illegal immigrants, arms trafficking and environmental crimes. The agreement provides for an exchange of information and scientific findings, expert meetings, common measures against drug related crime and the exchange of liaison officers and experts.

The Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Interior Ministry, Eduard Lintner welcomed the agreement as an important step towards co-operation against organised crime originating in the Eastern European and Baltic states. According to Mr. Lintner, Estonia is already a "firm component" of the field of operation of international organised crime, in particular in the fields of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Germany has earlier signed similar intergovernmental agreements with Poland, the Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria and intends to reach further agreements with the Central Asian republics of the CIS. According to Mr. Lintner, talks with Uzbekistan have already reached a promising stage.

 

Source: Innenpolitik Nr.II/1994

 

 

Comment

European co-operation and harmonisation in the field of justice and policing can be achieved in various ways. One is to make use of international frameworks such as the EU and larger European bodies with a view to setting up international conventions and agreements. However, this course of action often proves sluggish and time-consuming.

Germany seems to be playing a pioneer role in developing an alternative plan to achieve the same goal, i.e. to lead a very active policy of bi-lateral co-operation varying from fairly informal contacts to intergovernmental treaties with a wide range of states from Switzerland to Uzbekistan.

Germany has very deliberately resorted to this "pragmatic" piecemeal approach, as the following remark of a leading security advisor of the German government, Alfred Stümper, regar-ding police anf justice co-operation shows: " There is no need to fear special or 'island'-solutions. Wherever one can place a foot and introduce something in practice, one should do it."

N.B.