Sopot was chosen to host the annual Club Meeting of Customs Directors General from the EU, Croatia and Turkey. This was the 80th informal meeting of the Club. The event was held on 23-24 May 2013 and was the biggest international meeting organized by the Polish Customs Service this year.
The annual Club Meeting gives the opportunity to discuss the most important issues related to the functioning of the customs union. This year's theme focused on three main areas: current strategic priorities of the EU, cooperation in combating crime and Coordinated Border Management.
During the meeting the Irish representatives gave a presentation on the state of play of the EU Council Presidency. Then Lithuania gave an overview of the priorities of its Presidency, which begins the 1st of July 2013. Greece also contributed to this part of discussion as this country constitutes the Presidency Trio and begins its Presidency on the 1st of January 2014. The European Commission discussed one of the most important strategic documents – Communication on the State of the Customs Union, which sets the future directions of development of the customs union. A very important issue, especially from the perspective of the Polish Customs Service, responsible for one of the longest sections of the EU external border, was the Coordinated Border Management (CBM). Presentations on the organization of work between the various authorities at the border were given by Germany and Poland. Polish delegation spoke about the experience of the so called "control in one place" conducted during the European Football Championship UEFA EURO 2012.
The meeting brought together top-level representatives of the customs administrations of the EU countries, Croatia (which will become a member of the EU on the 1st of July 2013) and Turkey (which is part of the customs union since the 31st of December 1995) and the European Commission.
The conclusions of meeting will be used to further work in the EU institutions during the regular meetings of the Directors General of customs administrations.
Club Meeting was also an excellent opportunity for the presentation to the foreign guests of touristic, culinary and cultural values of Sopot and Gdańsk.