Interview of Deputy President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Ms. Slavica Grkovska

Interview of Deputy President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Ms. Slavica Grkovska, exclusively on Al Jazeera Balkans! In a compelling discussion, Ms. Grkovska speaks about the initiatives and measures spearheaded by the government of North Macedonia to fortify regional cooperation, addressing the pressing issues of cross-border corruption and organized crime networks in Southeast Europe. She sheds light on the crucial role of the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative, emphasizing its significance in fostering regional collaboration to combat corruption effectively. Furthermore, Ms. Slavica Grkovska underscores the importance of the “SEE Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Women Leaders Forum”, a groundbreaking initiative launched in partnership with the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI), UN Women, and UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) and Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) in cooperation with Al Jazeera Balkans

The International Treaty on Exchange of Data for the Verification of Asset Declaration Infographic

This animated infographics outlines the purpose of the International Treaty on Exchange of Data for the Verification of Asset Declarations (hereinafter Treaty) and its benefits.

RAI Secretariat facilitated the process of technical and political negotiations of the Treaty as a strong anti-corruption legal instrument for direct formal exchange of data in civil and administrative matters for verification of asset declarations among the integrity bodies. The Treaty was signed by the three initial signatories: Republic of Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia and Montenegro in March 2021, followed by the signature of Moldova in December 2023.

The Treaty will for the first time ever enable countries to exchange data cross-border for the verification of assets disclosed in one country, but located in another country.

The Treaty was developed under the Southeast Europe Regional Programme on Strengthening the Capacity of Anti-corruption Authorities and Civil Society to Combat Corruption and Contribute to the UNCAC Review Process, which was implemented jointly by the RAI Secretariat and UNODC, with financial support of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).

Interview of Mr. Tilman Hoppe, lead RAI legal expert for the International Treaty on Exchange of Data for Verification of Asset Declarations

As a former judge, expert on asset declarations and unexplained wealth and lead legal expert for the International Treaty on Exchange of Data for Verification of Asset Declarations, Dr. Tilman Hoppe has been a catalyst for positive change in the fight against corruption.

Insights from the Interview:

Corruption on the Global Stage: Dr. Hoppe delves into the presence of corruption in developed nations and compares the state of affairs in the SEE region to other European countries.

The Role of Legal Reforms: Are legal reforms alone sufficient in combating corruption? Dr. Hoppe shares his expertise on the effectiveness of legal frameworks in the ongoing battle against corruption.

Regional Collaboration for Change: Can the exchange of data on asset declarations foster effective regional cooperation in countering corruption? Gain valuable insights into how collaborative efforts are shaping the landscape.

The Power of Asset Declarations: Explore the significance of asset declarations as a formidable tool in the fight against corruption. Discover how RAI and Dr. Hoppe are driving impactful reforms in the region, supported by the Austrian Development Agency.

Interview of Head of Secretariat on the occasion of International Anti-corruption Day

On the occasion of International Anti-corruption Day, we reflect upon all the work that has been done in the previous period.

This year, as we mark the International Anti-corruption Day, we also celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), as well as 20 years since RAI Secretariat was established. We are especially proud of our longstanding partnership with UNODC. Through our joint Regional Programme Southeast Europe – Together against Corruption(SEE-TAC), and with the generous support of the Austrian Development Agency, we are working to strengthen resilience of the SEE societies to corruption by enhancing the capacity of governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and the media to prevent and fight corruption and to effectively implement the UNCAC.

In the exclusive interview on Al Jazeera Balkans on the occasion of International Anti-corruption Day, Ms. Desislava Gotskova, Head of RAI Secretariat, reflects on the role of RAI and the regional cooperation in the fight against corruption in Southeast Europe. By working together, Southeast European countries can build a brighter and more resilient future, foster a culture of transparency and accountability, paving the way for sustained economic development and the well-being of its citizens.

Over 100 judges, prosecutors, professors and other experts from the Western Balkans, Croatia and Italy gathered in Sarajevo on March 15th 2023, for the conference “Effective Asset Recovery in the Western Balkans” organised by the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative and the AIRE Centre, with the support from the UK Government. Corruption and organised crime continue to present one of the most widespread and intransigent challenges to the rule of law in the Western Balkans, and asset recovery, as part of the criminal process, is one of the most effective means of combating these crimes.

Social Experiment Video: Whistle – For the Brave Ones!

What would you do if you witnessed an act of corruption? Would you be scared and stay quiet? Or would you find the strength and courage to speak up and report it? What would happen if you became a whistleblower? 

These were some of the questions faced by unwitting participants in a unique social experiment conducted by the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI). The social experiment video aims to enhance the public awareness, especially of young people, about the importance of whistleblowing in fight against corruption. 

In the experiment, six young people are invited to a mock casting session for a television commercial. The director and crew are played by actors. As the session unfolds, the participants fall victim to the unscrupulous director. They are presented with a clear choice: speak up about the wrongdoing or stay quiet. The social experiment video ‘Whistle for the Brave Ones’, which is available on link, was produced as part of RAI’s project “Breaking the Silence: Enhancing the Whistleblowing Policies and Culture in WBs and Moldova”, funded by the European Union.

The video is available with local subtitles:

Whistle for the End! Guerrilla Campaign Videos

By blowing the whistle at our Guerrilla Events citizens of Sarajevo, Podgorica, Pristina, Tirana, Skopje, Chișinău and Belgrade said no to corruption and symbolically saved  8,404,993.73 EUR.

Live performances ,Whistle for the End’ in these cities marked the Public Awareness Campaign organized under the regional project ‘Breaking the Silence: Enhancing the whistleblowing policies and culture in Western Balkans and Moldova’ funded by the European Union and implemented by the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative Secretariat (RAI).

The aim of the street performance was to draw attention to the damage that corruption causes to our society and to the significant role that each person has in the fight against corruption.

            • Take a glimpse of how citizens in the capitals of Western Balkan and Moldova took part in our #WhistleForTheEnd performance and became aware of the damage that corruption causes to our society:

Youth about whistleblowing

During Metamorphosis, the 36th Regional Session of EYP BiH, Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) presented a topic building on the protection of whistleblowers and reflecting the European Union Directive on the topic. Check out this video, in which the members of the JURI committee shared their thoughts and opinions about the session and the topic of whistleblowing.

This video features the voices of eleven young people from Southeast Europe about whistleblowing in fight against corruption, who answered the question ‘why report corruption and why youth especially should not remain silent?

The video was screened at the Anti-Corruption Film Festival of Albania, held as part of the #WeekofIntegrity (December 1-9, 2020). The festival was organized by the Ministry of Justice of Albania and supported by the EU Delegation to Albania.

The Medal of the Loud - The Story about Whistleblowers

This documentary was produced under the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) Project ‘Whistleblowers are important: Raising awareness about whistleblowing in South East Europe’. The Project contributes to the implementation of the South East Europe (SEE) 2020 Strategy and is funded by the Regional Cooperation Council. The overall objective of the Project, implemented in cooperation with South East Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection, is to raise awareness and improve perceptions of whistleblowing in the region. Speaking in the film are Valentina Krstic, Nataša Skaricic, Anila Hoxhaj, Zoran Gavrilovic, Radomir Ilic, Mevludin Dzindo, Arjan Dyrmishi and Srecko Sladoljev.

The video is available with local subtitles:

Working Together We Ensure Crime Doesn't Pay

Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE Centre) and Regional Anti-corruption Initiative Secretariat have implemented a Regional Project “Strengthening anti-corruption in the South East Europe through improving asset seizure measures” between 2018 and 2021 with the funding from the British Government. The project focused on strengthening regional capacities for effective asset recovery and strengthening the regional cooperation in this field. Selected videos highlight the importance of the project and showcase its key achievements.

Public Procurement Integrity in Southeast Europe: Mechanisms, Red Flags, and State-Owned Enterprises in the Energy Sector (R2G4P Initiative)

The Report “Public Procurement Integrity in Southeast Europe: Mechanisms, Red Flags, and State-Owned Enterprises in the Energy Sector” was developed as a part of the regional R2G4P project, implemented by 14 partners including the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative, Regional Cooperation Council, and coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy. The project funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation aims to implement shared anti-corruption and good governance solutions in Southeast Europe through innovative practices and public-private partnerships.

The report focuses on two of the most challenging governance vulnerabilities in the SEE region: analyzing the integrity of the public procurement systems and the management of the energy sector in nine countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia). The analysis is based on two unique big-data corruption risk assessment tools: Open Tender and State Capture Assessment Diagnostics. The key conclusions and policy recommendations are summarized in the report. For more details, see the REPORT.