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Countering the New Security Challenges: the Experience of Norway and Bulgaria
On June 23, 2004 the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a seminar on the new challenges to the national and international security. Norwegian and Bulgarian experts shared experience on the mechanisms to prevent and counter organized crime and international terrorism and discussed the possible role of the police in the international security policy.

The seminar is part of CSD course on Good Governance and Security aimed to introduce the Bulgarian security sector to the best international practices in this area. The course includes high level speakers from Bulgarian and international institutions who address the most crucial issues in developing good governance practices in the context of the new security challenges.

Experts from the Ministry of Interior and the Academy of the MOI, the Defense and Staff College and the Ministry of Defense as well as security sector reform experts took part in the seminar.

The seminar was opened by Mr. Boyko Todorov, CSD Program Director, who introduced the audience to the work of the Center on the new security threats. Ms. Signe Arnesen, Police Advisor at the Norwegian Institute of International Relations (NUPI), spoke on the new threats to global security. She pointed to the new concept of security which is no longer measured in military strength. In her opinion, the major threats to security today are terrorism, proliferation, civil conflicts, failed states, trafficking in drugs and international organized crime. On the new security scene, the police are expected to complete various new tasks to respond adequately to the changed realities.

Mr. Jan Nybakk from the Norwegian Service for Criminal Investigation started his presentation with an overview of the police cooperation between the Scandinavian countries which share common police and customs officers in foreign countries within the framework of a joint intelligence project. The arrangement of 1987 expanded to include all forms of crime of transnational character in 1998. Mr. Nybakk referred to drug trafficking as a main problem for Norway at present and said that drug seizures doubled in the period 1996-2002. He pointed to some characteristic features of the organized crime which is more professional and specialized noways. Other forms of organized crime, which is on increase in the Nordic countries, are people smuggling, theft-related offences, financial and ICT crime. In conclusion, the Norwegian expert said that organized crime already comprises most areas of crime and challenges national and international principles of law, the structure of society and the protection of individual rights and freedoms. That is why cooperation, both national and international, is of crucial importance to fight organized crime efficiently.

In the discussion that followed the role of intelligence in countering terrorism was put into focus. Ms. Arnesen said that police and military intelligence in Norway are trying to cooperate with each other but there are still gaps. The first threat assessment in the police and the armed forces has been carried out in 2004 with the purpose to find these gaps. Another argument for an active participation of the miliary forces in countering terrorism was the fact that after the Cold War they lost a lot of their previous responsibilities and are now eager to find new areas to work in.

The definition of terrorism provoked a lively debate. According to Ms. Arnesen it is difficult to define terrorism since one country freedom fighters could be considered terrorists in another country. Mr. Karakolev from the Academy of the Ministry of Interior said that it would be easier to define terrorism if it is regarded as a violation of human rights.

The Chief Expert in the International Terror Sector of the National Service for Combating Organized Crime - Mr. Marchelo Rizov –proposed to define terrorism as a domestic crime when it is committed on the territory of a country and as an international crime when it affects more than two countries. Further, he highlighted the good cooperation between Bulgaria and its neighboring countries in the persuit of international criminals.

Mr. Boyan Boyanov, Expert at the International Organizations and Arms Control Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, spoke on the export control as a means to streangthen national and international security. He underlined, that the export control is not aimed to hamper the legal businesses but to prevent weapons to be used by terrorist groups. Among the main concerns is the fact that international agreements are concluded among states and do not bind non-state actors. On the other hand, a number countries that have signed these agreements do not respect them.

Other questions that have been discussed following the presentations included money-laundering and small arms proliferation in Norway. There are huge amounts of money, laundered in the country, therefore it is very active within the Financial Assets Task Force operating internationally. As far as small arms possession by criminals is concerned it turned out that most of the seized small arms have been produced in NATO member states.

The Police as an Actor within International Security Policy - presentation of Ms. Signe Arnesen (MS PowerPoint, 689 kb)
Combating Organized Crime - the Norwegian Experience - presentation of Mr. Jan Nybakk (MS PowerPoint, 1,4 Mb)

Previous lectures and seminars
Lecture of Piritta Sorsa
Lecture of Roderick Moore
Seminars with the participation of Eva Joly

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