Regional Meeting on achieving accurate, comprehensive and standard recording of asset recovery statistics

The regional meeting on achieving accurate, comprehensive, and standard recording of asset recovery statistics took place in Pristina, on 1 March 2022. The meeting gathered more than 20 experts from the Western Balkans jurisdictions, embodying the start of the effective assessment of asset recovery processes in the Western Balkans, and a step towards sharing experiences and ensuring continuity of accurate data collection and establishing a common system across the region.

At the meeting, the importance of the transparency and completeness of statistics on asset recovery was reiterated, as it they are key in enabling data exchange in the region and proper visibility of the results in this field. The statistics, while highly technical, allow for the establishment of the framework for assessing effectiveness of the fight against organized crime and corruption. Only the accuracy and transparency of the collected data can ensure public confidence and create a framework for securing social benefits resulting from the confiscation of illegally acquired assets.

This meeting was organised under the project “Combating corruption and organized crime in the Western Balkans through strengthening regional cooperation in asset recovery” implemented by the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE Centre) in cooperation with the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) Secretariat, with funding from the United Kingdom government.

The Project started in September 2021 and is based on an extensive needs assessment, consultations with key stakeholders, and the findings available in a series of publications including the AIRE-RAI Report on Effective Implementation of Asset Recovery Measures in the Western Balkans: an overview of a regional monitoring methodology, key benchmarks and case studies of good practice. This report concludes that the only way of ensuring that relevant statistics are accurately collected is to employ one common system across all the agencies involved in sequestration and confiscation.