North Macedonia: Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centres

Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) Benedikt Welfens, RTA Assistent Iva Simonovska Trenevska, RTA Counterpart North Macedonia Boro Ilkoski, RTA Language Assistent Jana Dimitrovska (from left to right)
Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) Benedikt Welfens, RTA Assistent Iva Simonovska Trenevska, RTA Counterpart North Macedonia Boro Ilkoski, RTA Language Assistent Jana Dimitrovska (from left to right)

EU Twinning

Project Leader: Dr. Stefan Trunk
Junior Project Leader: Ivan Crncec
RTA: Benedikt Welfens
Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Andreea Pop

The “Building of the Institutional Capacity of the Investigative Centres” twinning project will run for 24 months and has a budget of EUR 1 million. The project started in May 2019, currently being implemented by the IRZ in lead, together with the Croatian Ministry of Justice as a junior partner.

Between 2015 and May 2017, North Macedonia experienced its biggest political crisis since the start of the peace process in 2001. Wiretap transcripts brought to light the criminalisation of the entire institutional system. The new government, which has been in office since the end of 2016, has now embarked on a reform of its domestic and foreign policy, which is also being supported by the European Union. This twinning project underlines the reform process.

The objective of the project is to support the fight against organised crime and corruption. Competent “Investigative Centres” are to be set up in Skopje, Kumanovo and Tetovo. These are collective centres of investigation, which will be run by the North Macedonian Public Prosecutor's Office. The main initiatives of the project are the networking of investigation authorities in North Macedonia and their cooperation with international criminal investigation institutions, as well as the further training of members of public prosecutor’s offices, police, customs and tax investigation departments.

First component: Improvement of organisation structures and work processes

The first component of the project is based on supporting the development of investigation centres through an improved set of rules for their organisation structures and work processes. Following an in-depth analysis of the current situation, recommendations on codes for the following subjects are to be developed:

  • Human rights,
  • defendants’ rights,
  • witness protection,
  • professionalisation and
  • ethical standards.

Second component: Training to support cooperation

The second component is concerned with improving the cooperation and exchange of specific knowledge between all those involved through multidisciplinary training sessions across all sectors, as well as with enhancing capacities in the fight against organised crime and corruption. The target groups for this training are:

  • Public prosecutors,
  • investigators,
  • legal counsels,
  • technical experts and
  • other employees of law enforcement authorities, such as the police, financial police and customs authorities.

Third component: Reliable cooperation between national and international investigative centres

The third component of the project is about increasing and improving cooperation between investigative centres at a national and international level. This is a matter of enhancing professionalism, making more efficient use of resources and increasing the reliability of exchange with other member states according to the rules of the European Union.

Funded by the European Union

North Macedonia: Strengthening the capacities of the authorised bodies for fight against crime

EU Twinning Light

Project Manager: Norbert Koster
Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Bojana Tadic

In September 2018, the IRZ was awarded the contract for the EU Twinning Light Project ”Strengthening the capacities of the authorised bodies for fight against crime“. After the successful conclusion of the contract with the Central Financing and Contracting Department of the Macedonian Ministry of Finance, the project was launched in early 2019. The eight-month project with a total volume of € 250,000 aims to support the Macedonian Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Police Office and the Customs Authority in implementing and applying special investigation methods. The goal is to enhance the system of taking evidence to improve the fight against organised crime and corruption in Macedonia.

The project is subdivided into two components. The first component will analyse the legal framework and harmonise the already existing laws with the legal requirements of the EU. Especially the Macedonian criminal procedure code, the criminal code and the security clearance act will play a role in this context. The laws will be discussed in roundtable talks with representatives of the Macedonian project partners and proposals for amendments will be developed.

The second component will deal with the further training of staff members of the above-mentioned Macedonian authorities. In a first step, the training programs already existing in Macedonia will be reviewed and then be extended to include training programs in the field of special investigation methods. In this context, also so-called training of trainers seminars will be organised to train Macedonian trainers and instructors to ensure that the training programs are continued after the project close. Public prosecutors and trainers will furthermore be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the practical work of German prison authorities within a study trip to Germany.

Funded by the European Union

North Macedonia: Strengthening of the penitentiary system and the probation service

Those involved in the project during the opening event in Skopje
Those involved in the project during the opening event in Skopje

EU Twinning

Project Manager: Stefan Scherrer

RTA: Axel Briemle
Responsible at the IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Bojana Tadic

Since the end of August 2018, the IRZ has been leading the EU twinning project for supporting the reform of the penitentiary system and the probation service in North Macedonia. The Dutch Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) is a junior partner in the project, which is running for 24 months and led by the IRZ. As part of the National Strategy for the Development of the Penitentiary System in Macedonia (2015-2019), the project has a total investment of EUR 950,000 and aims to offer support in two key areas:

  • Development of proposals for improving the institutional and administrative capacities of the penitentiary system, with a focus on improving the management and operation of prisons, in order to guarantee unlimited respect for human rights with regard to the treatment of prisoners;
  • Development of a probation system for carrying out probation measures and alternative sanctions, as well as improving the cooperation between all the relevant organisations and institutions in this area.

The implementation of the project began on 31 August 2018 with the arrival of the Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) in Skopje and was opened on 21 November 2018 with an official ceremony. During the opening ceremony, the provisional work schedule, which serves as the basis for the future implementation of the project, was approved and signed. During the first three months of the project, initial measures for the development of processes and criteria for the maintenance of penal institutions have already been carried out.

In close cooperation with the department for implementing punitive measures at the North Macedonian Ministry of Justice, over the next few months the relevant legislation will be analysed, suggestions for improvements will be put forward and sustainable training measures for improving the management and monitoring capacities of prisons and the probation service will be developed. In addition, a variety of workshops, seminars and study visits will take place in Germany and the Netherlands to provide information on tried-and-tested practices and recognised principles for probation services.

Funded by the European Union