Regional Workshop “Integrity and Control Measures in Defence and Law Enforcement Institutions” kicks off in RACVIAC

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The two-day Regional Workshop “Integrity and Control Measures in Defence and Law Enforcement Institutions” took place in RACVIAC on 20-21 May 2024, boasting more than 30 participants from the region.

Knowing that integrity and the fight against corruption in the defence and security areas present a universal challenge in the region and considering that this specific topic needs to be treated multi-disciplinary, RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation and Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) have been implementing joint activities since 2014.

The objective of the Workshop was to increase the capacity of ministries of defence and ministries of internal affairs in the field of integrity and corruption prevention by learning about best practices in application of control measures related to conflict of interest, asset declarations and protection of classified data. The Workshop aimed at increasing awareness about innovative anti-corruption mechanisms and tools but also needed legal solutions and regulatory measures.

The key topics of the joint activity in 2024 were prevention and detection of conflict of interest, asset declaration systems and data protection within the defence sector.

The Workshop was opened by H.E. Ambassador Constantin-Mihail Grigorie, Director of RACVIAC and Mr Dražen Jelenić, RAI Chairperson.

Ambassador Grigorie in his introductory speech complimented and thanked RAI for the outstanding cooperation as well as excellent topics and exquisite speakers. Furthermore, he extended a very warm welcome to Mr Dražen Jelenić, RAI Chairperson.

Throughout the years for a decade now RACVIAC and RAI have together covered a wide arrange of topics from impact of conflict of interest on decision-making, transparency and trust in the institutions to instruments that are at our disposal to fight corruption such as asset declaration and whistleblower protection, he emphasised. In ten years, we organized 11 workshops dedicated to promoting integrity and fighting corruption that gathered more than 264 participants and 71 speakers from the region and beyond.

Furthermore, Ambassador Grigorie reflected on the fact that proper financial management and prevention of illicit financial flows in South East Europe are an important part of the agenda as well. That is why RACVIAC, in cooperation with RAI and University of Split, University Department for Forensic Sciences, organized last year an extra workshop dedicated to money laundering.

As we always seek to have excellent speakers from prominent institutions such as the already mentioned University of Split, as well as the Center for the Study of Democracy, NATO Building Integrity Office, National Whistleblower Center and OSCE, this Workshop was an excellent opportunity for the further development of regional cooperation on institutional integrity and fighting corruption through exchange of information and sharing of best practices, Ambassador concluded before wishing everyone a fruitful and productive event. The participation and contribution were awaited with great interest and, therefore, he urged the participants to fully take advantage of this event.

RAI Chairperson, Mr Dražen Jelenić, pointed out that corruption is a pervasive issue that affects every aspect of our society, perpetuating poverty and inequality, and hindering growth. The security and defense sectors have a critical role to play in combatting corruption, as they are not immune to its effects. “By working together and strengthening our collaboration on a regional level, we can make significant strides in our fight against corruption” he stated.

RAI Chairperson concluded his remarks by expressing confidence that the discussions and exchanges during the Workshop would be valuable and contribute significantly to our collective efforts. He thanked for the participation and wished a successful and productive workshop to everyone.

The Workshop was attended in total by more than 30 lecturers and participants who are mid-level representatives of ministries of defence and interior (officials dealing with integrity measures, prevention and detection of conflict of interest, classified data protection), as well as anti-corruption agencies and other relevant national institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Türkiye.


* This Designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence