Consultations and workshops for Macedonian investigative and prosecution authorities that were implemented in the week between the 18th and 21st of December 2023 in North Macedonia mark the final activities within the scope of the project” Support in Chapter 24 – Financial investigations” for the year 2023.
The implemented activities enabled further possibilities for the exchange of best practices, mutual training and capacity building that contribute to the development of procedures towards the fight against organised crime and corruption, with special attention for financial investigations.
The consultations, which took place at the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office Skopje and were attended by representatives of the Customs Administration, the Ministry of the Interior, the Office for Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism and the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office Skopje, addressed the dilemmas that Macedonian investigators and prosecutors face in real-life cases of ongoing financial investigations. Consultations were provided by a prosecutor from the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Slovenia, an expert in business, tax and public sector crime from the Criminal Police Directorate of the Republic of Slovenia and a Slovenian expert in the valuation and calculation of assets of illicit origin. The consultations were intensive and provided an opportunity for an in-depth joint review of the data and to explore the possibilities for the successful implementation and conclusion of specific financial investigations aiming to confiscate assets of illicit origin and proceeds of crime.
The consultations were followed by a workshop in Dojran, attended by representatives of the Macedonian Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Financial Police, the Customs Administration and the Ministry of the Interior, who have already been involved and trained in the project’s previous activities, and who have been involved in the drafting of the Standard operating procedures for Financial Investigations (SOP), to be adopted by the institutions in the second half of 2022. This time, they discussed with their Slovenian colleagues how they can contribute to the development and improvement of the financial investigation system in North Macedonia through their knowledge and experience, transferring it to their colleagues in their institutions, the use of SOP for financial investigations, continuous improvement, inter-institutional cooperation, and teamwork.
The consultations were also attended by Ljubomir Joveski, who just a few days later – on 25 December 2023 – completed his term of mandate as the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia and who has already participated in the “Support in Chapter 24 – Financial Investigations” project in previous phases, including as a signatory to the Joint Guidelines for the Conduct of Financial Investigations signed by the Macedonian institutions on 7 June 2019 in Ljubljana. At the end of his mandate, he thanked the Republic of Slovenia for its development assistance and assessed the project as very important for the Macedonian prosecutor’s office and the institutions responsible for financial investigations. He said that he expects many positive effects from the project, as since its presence there are already signs of a shift towards faster and more efficient work.
The consultations and workshops in December successfully concluded all planned activities of the two-year program cycle of the “Support in Chapter 24 – Financial Investigations” project for 2023. Further activities are scheduled for 2024.
Centre for European Perspective
Activities are funded by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Republic of Slovenia through its International Development Cooperation Programme and implemented in cooperation with the State Prosecution, Ministry of the Interior, and the Police of the Republic of Slovenia.