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: Franziska Simon, Katharina Tegeder

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