RAI Secretariat participated in the Workshop on the Protection of Whistleblowers in North Macedonia

The Regional Anti-corruption Initiative Secretariat (RAI), represented by Anti-Corruption Expert – Project Manager Ms. Elmerina Ahmetaj Hrelja, participated in the Workshop on the Protection of Whistle Blowers that was held on Tuesday, February 22, in Skopje, North Macedonia. The workshop was organized as part of the DCAF implemented Intelligence and Security Sector Reform Programme in the Republic of North Macedonia (2021-2026) and included speakers from the academia, GRECO, Ministry of Justice and State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption of North Macedonia.

The event gathered participants from the Ministry of Interior of North Macedonia, specifically the Department for Internal Control, Criminal Investigations, and Professional Standards, to discuss best practices, policies, and initiatives related to whistleblowing and the protection of whistleblowers in the law enforcement agencies, with the aim to increase their understanding of mechanisms for whistleblowing protection and increase their capacities to enhance the protection of whistleblowers.

RAI’s Elmerina Ahmetaj Hrelja facilitated the Expert Session on best practices for whistleblowing, and presented on what is required to build an effective whistleblowing system, in line with the EU Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of European Union law, based on findings of RAI’s assessment and model solutions.

The Social Experiment Video Whistle – For the Brave Ones! was screened at the workshop with a key message being that employees will be encouraged to report corruption if they enjoy the support of management and peers alike, as well as more broadly the support of the community as a whole.

Participants of the workshop stated, among other things, that a small number of whistleblower reports is indicative of the lack of trust in the system to provide whistleblower protection and address the reported wrongdoing. But, they also concluded that whistleblowing is an instrument which can be used for the betterment of an organization and institution such as the Ministry of Interior and its ability to perform its law enforcement function.