In the framework of Component 5 (Integrated Border Management), Activity 5.2 “Schengen evaluation and Schengen training”, a Schengen Evaluation was organised by PAMECA IV. This activity was a joint initiative of PAMECA, OSCE Presence in Albania and the General Directorate of Border and Migration at Albanian State Police.
An Evaluation Team was established, composed of an international short term expert, PAMECA IV and four Albanian Police Officers from different police borders. The primary objective of this evaluation was to better assess the Border Crossing Points of Muriqan, Hani i Hotit, Tirana International Airport (Rinas Airport) and Vlora Port. Different aspects of border crossing points were evaluated and respective findings and recommendations are issued and discussed with the relevant border police authorities. Aiming to have a better point of view of the situation, a questionnaire was disseminated in advance, consisting of general and specific questions.
Considerable attention was paid to border checks, either entry or exit and the standard operational procedures that were applied. First and second line checks were assessed in details, and several aspects were identified as problems that need special attention in the future, such as the increasing number of control booths, specific duties and responsibilities of first line check controllers and a better communication between these two lines.
Several issues were identified during the second line checks, such as additional need for advanced documentation experts, lack of equipment, for the inspection of falsified/forged documents, lack of equipment for vehicles, etc.
Another issue of high concern is the need for additional domestic training for the personnel of Border Police and dissemination of obtained knowledge in a specific training was recommended to be done according to specific procedures.
Cooperation with the Customs authority is another aspect that was broadly evaluated, mainly consisting in joint operations, investigation and periodic briefings. Cooperation among Rinas Airport, Border Police and airline agencies is considered very important and this collaboration is strongly recommended to be enhanced and to be functional in the future.
Risk analyses was another point of interest for the evaluation team, focused on specific aspects, such as the responsible authority to conduct risk analyses, their frequency, the specialisation of staff to conduct them, joint risk analyses with customs, and the availability of risk analyses products in different organisational levels.