A plan for a safer future

Roadmap vision: Western Balkans is a safer region, and exporter of security, where comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms, fully harmonized with the European Union and other international standards, are in place to identify, prevent, prosecute, and control the illegal possession, misuses and trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The Roadmap for a sustainable solution to arms control in the Western Balkans by 2024 envisages the Western Balkans as a safer region and an exporter of security where comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms, fully harmonized with the European Union (EU) and other international standards, are in place to identify, prevent, prosecute, and control the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives. It is based on regional cooperation principals and it draws upon SEESAC’s signature solution to arms control resulted from over a decade of work on all arms control-related aspects with governments in the region and in partnership with the EU.

The Roadmap was developed by the Western Balkans authorities with SEESAC’s technical support under the auspices of France and Germany and in consultation with the EU and all other relevant actors. The adoption of the document is the result of a record-breaking 5 months consultations process, started in Podgorica on 1 February 2018 at the high-level meeting, followed by discussions at the local level in all jurisdictions across the region, agreed in Tirana at the 9th Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Commissions Meeting and adopted at the London Summit held on 10 July 2018. Mainstreaming of gender into SALW control is an integral part of the Roadmap in order to ensure that SALW control interventions take into account the impact of firearms and needs of both men and women. 

To fulfil the ambitious mission envisaged by its vision, the Roadmap includes seven goals including ensuring that arms control legislation is in place, fully harmonized with the EU regulatory framework and other related international obligations and standardized across the region by 2023. By 2024, the arms control policies and practices in the Western Balkans should be evidence-based and intelligence-led, the illicit flows of firearms, ammunition and explosives into, within and beyond the Western Balkans should be significantly reduced, the supply-demand and misuses of firearms should also be reduced through increased awareness, education, outreach and advocacy and the estimated number of firearms in illicit possession should substantially decrease in the Western Balkans. Additionally, part of the Roadmap goals, the Western Balkans should systematically decrease the surplus and destroy seized SALW and ammunition and should significantly decrease the risk of proliferation and diversion of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The implementation of the Roadmap goals will contribute to compliance by the Western Balkans with related international treaties and agreements including the United Nations (UN) Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects, the Firearms Protocol,  Arms Trade Treaty, as well as the EU Strategy Against Illicit Firearms, Small Arms & Light Weapons & Their Ammunition. It will also contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peaceful and just societies in particular targets 16.1 (significantly reduce all forms of violence and death rate everywhere) and 16.4 (significantly reduce illicit arms flows) and Goal 5 on gender equality.

Full Roadmap text can be read here in: Albanian, BCMS, English, Macedonian.

Strategic documents

Action Plans

Belgrade: EnglishBCMS

Podgorica: EnglishMNE

Pristina: English

Skopje: EnglishMacedonian

Tirana: English, Albanian

Roadmap monitoring

The Roadmap is a testimony of the consensus reached among all stakeholders in the Western Balkans about the current challenges, the overall targets to be reached and the timeline of actions to be taken. It provides an overall platform for the achievement of commonly agreed on key performance indicators (KPIs) at strategic, policy and operational level.

The Western Balkans authorities have agreed to measure the progress of the Roadmap’s implementation through the following concrete and measurable indicators:

  1. Number of legal frameworks on arms control throughout the Western Balkans fully harmonized with the EU legislation, the Arms Trade Treaty and the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition (The Firearms Protocol);
  2. Number of evidence-based arms control policy documents, developed in each jurisdiction of the Western Balkans, that are also addressing needs of men, women, boys and girls;
  3. Number of cases, individuals and quantity of misused and trafficked firearms, ammunition and explosives (FAE) prosecuted and adjudicated in comparison to the number of law enforcement reports on seizures;
  4. Number of cases and quantity of FAE seized inland compared to the number of cases and quantity of FAE seized at the borders;
  5. Number of reported cases of FAE seized at the borders of the European Union and traced to the Western Balkans, compared to the number of FAE seized throughout the European Union and traced to or diverted from the Western Balkans;
  6. Number of FAE for which export licenses were issued by the Western Balkans identified as diverted through post-shipment control procedure;
  7. Firearms Focal Points (FFP) established and operational in each jurisdiction of the Western Balkans;
  8. Number of inter-institutional cooperation cases at the operational level, including investigation, prosecution and pretrial phases;
  9. Number of cases of operational cooperation sourced from intelligence information including ballistic intelligence in the fight against firearms-related crimes, with authorities in the region, EU member states and agencies as well as international law enforcement agencies;
  10. Number of cases of operational cooperation sourced from intelligence information including ballistic intelligence in the fight against firearms-related crimes, with authorities in the region, EU member states and agencies as well as international law enforcement agencies;
  11. Number of firearms and ammunition voluntarily surrendered, as well as firearms legalized or deactivated;
  12. Number of reported SALW/firearms, ammunition, and explosives (confiscated or surplus) systematically destroyed;
  13. Number of SALW/firearms and their ammunition storage facilities in line with international safety and security standards;
  14. Percentage of citizens satisfaction (disaggregated by age and gender) or feeling of safety on armed violence across the Western Balkans.

The periodic monitoring of progress against the jointly agreed KPIs and coordination of the implementation of the Roadmap by six beneficiaries is conducted by SEESAC with funding provided by the European Union through its Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1788 of 19 November 2018 in support of the South-Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) for the implementation of the Regional Roadmap on combating illicit arms trafficking in the Western Balkans.

To this purpose, SEESAC in cooperation with the SALW Commissions in the Western Balkans has established in 2018 a regional monitoring framework, which follows the Key Performance Indicators and the Roadmap Goals. The first progress reports produced by the authorities covered period 1 January-31 December 2018, to be used as baseline information for measuring of progress throughout the roadmap timeline.

Key performance indicatorsReport 1. January-31. December 2018  

Roadmap narrative progress report - Report 1. January-31. December 2018

Contributions by regional and international organizations - 1. January-31. December 2018

Roadmap Coordination

The Roadmap is grounded in SEESAC's unique approach of fostering cooperation and building confidence in the Western Balkans for achieving concrete and measurable results contributing to transformational change for the region as a whole. In particular, at the regional level, different cooperation processes facilitated by SEESAC, involving both policy-makers and operational level practitioners, have proven to be an essential ingredient in ensuring an enabling environment for knowledge transfer, expertise exchange, information-sharing and planning and coordination of activities at the regional level. This has served not only to increase the capacities in the region but more importantly to build confidence and foster direct cooperation among institutions and individual experts, which, among other things, enabled the development of the Roadmap. The Roadmap will continue to foster regional cooperation as the essential enabling element for measurable results.

To ensure coordination of efforts in the implementation of the Roadmap among jurisdictions in the Western Balkans, implementing organizations and donors, SEESAC was tasked through the same EU Council Decision until 2021 to organize twice per year Regional Roadmap Coordination meetings focusing on taking stock of progress and information exchange at the regional level. At the same time, SEESAC is supporting the organization by the SALW Commissions twice per year, local coordination meetings with the aim to coordinate the efforts and monitor progress at the jurisdiction’s level in the implementation of the Roadmap.

Roadmap Local Coordination Meetings

The Local Coordination Meetings are led by the SALW Commissions in each jurisdiction and are held in advance of the Regional Coordination Meetings. The meetings provide the opportunity to coordinate the implementation of the activities, assist in monitoring of progress, identification of challenges, gaps and needs for support as per the specific goals of the Roadmap as well as the Action Plan adopted by the Governments to implement the Roadmap at jurisdiction level. The local coordination meetings aim to provide the opportunity to the local and international organizations to discuss and brief on their engagement in arms control and to the donors on their current and/or planned support in countering the proliferation and illicit trafficking of SALW within the Roadmap framework in the specific jurisdiction.

First Roadmap Local Coordination Meetings:

Pristina –  2 April 2019

Skopje – 23 April 2019

Tirana – 6 May 2019

Podgorica – 7 May 2019

Belgrade - 8 May 2019

Sarajevo –  16 May 2019

Second Roadmap Local Coordination Meetings

Skopje – 29 October 2019

Pristina – 30 October 2019

Tirana – 1 November 2019

Podgorica – 4 November 2019

Sarajevo – 7 November 2019

Belgrade - 8 November 2019

Roadmap Regional Coordination Meetings

The Roadmap Regional Coordination Meetings gather representatives of SALW Commissions in the Western Balkans, representatives of international organizations and other implementing partners engaged in arms control in the region as well as key donors in the area. These meetings provide the opportunity to review progress on the implementation of the Roadmap goals, present the data collected on the KPIs, discuss contributions from implementing and donor support in countering the proliferation and illicit trafficking of SALW and identifies remaining gaps in the Roadmap implementation.

  • Event Agenda for the 1st Regional Coordination Meeting
  • List of Participants
  • Presentations

International Donor Conferences (Paris, Berlin)

The first International Donor Conference for the Roadmap was organized by the governments of France and Germany in Paris on 11 December 2018.  The event was hosted by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France and Germany and it brought together over 100 participants including Ministers or Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior from Western Balkans, governments’ representatives from Europe, North America, and international and regional organizations engaged in arms control, including the United Nations. The Ministers of Interior from the Western Balkans presented the priorities set forth in the Action Plans for the implementation of the Roadmap, as well as identified goals while international organizations informed on their planned support to these action plans ranging from stockpiles management to strengthening criminal justice response to misuse of firearms and mainstreaming gender in security policies. The second similar international donor conference is set to take place in Berlin, at the beginning of 2020.

Roadmap Funding Mechanism/Multi-Partner Trust Fund

To ensure a donor coordinated approach in the implementation of the Roadmap, a Multi-Partner Trust Fund has been established. The Trust Fund acts as a platform to strengthen coordination, planning and communication among the donors and to develop synergies among different players involved in this programmatic area. It also reduces risks to governments and financial contributors through a comprehensive risk and results-based management system. The fund governance consists of a Steering Committee and a Secretariat.

For more information about the Multi-Partner Trust Fund, please check the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Operations Manual and brochure. 

Status of contributions by donors: 

  • Sweden: SEK 7 million ($724,300)
  • UK: £500,000 ($651,550)
  • Norway: NOK 1.67 million ($184,958)

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).