On 14-15 June 2023, in the framework of the “Support in Chapter 24 – Financial investigations”, project meetings were held in Skopje with representatives of the interested professional and international community in North Macedonia. Meetings were held at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the OSCE Mission in Skopje, and the Development Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Sweden, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU. During the meetings, the interlocutors were presented with information on activities carried out since 2019 with Slovenian development assistance in North Macedonia in the field of capacity building of the Macedonian institutions responsible for financial investigations, the challenges they are facing on the way to improving their results, the changes and progress they have already achieved in the framework of the project, as well as the ones that are still ahead of them on the path of European integration.
The meetings with the international community were followed by discussions with legal expert Prof. Dr Vlado Kambovski, President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, on the changes and adjustments to the legislation that are needed in North Macedonia to conduct financial investigations more effectively according to EU criteria and standards.
The meetings with the interested professional and international community were also an opportunity to discuss the possibilities of cooperation and networking in the implementation of Slovenian development assistance programs aimed at Macedonian institutions to prevent illicit financial flows as effectively as possible, to accelerate activities to confiscate the proceeds of crime and property of illegal origin, to combat the illicit arms trade and, more generally, to fight all forms of organized crime and corruption in North Macedonia as successfully as possible, as any progress the country makes in these areas will naturally be mirrored beyond its borders.
Photo: Meeting with the representatives of UNODC and the Swedish Embassy in Skopje.
Activities are funded by the Republic of Slovenia through its International Development Cooperation Programme and implemented in cooperation with the State Prosecution, Financial Administration, Ministry of the Interior, and the Police of the Republic of Slovenia.
Andreja Dolničar Jeraj
Centre for European Perspective