Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine has intensified existing geopolitical tensions throughout 2022 and into 2023, exposing persistent rule of law deficiencies in Southeast Europe (SEE-9). In order to increase the capacity of its civil society and government partners to monitor, diagnose and tackle corruption and close governance gaps, the Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform (R2G4P) held a regional training and a summer school on 29-31 May 2023 in Belgrade. The event presented good practices and promoted:
- Risk assessment and prevention of corruption, political patronage and illegal lobbying
- Investigating and tackling illicit financial flows and undue foreign influence
- Use of anti-money laundering and investment screening mechanisms
- Protecting media pluralism and challenging disinformation
- Efficient sanctioning of corruption and illicit finance
- Rebuilding political and economic alliances, and establishing robust monitoring mechanisms and transparency in the distribution of recovery funds
The participants agreed that consistent capacity building is needed in multiple areas. Financial forensic experts need to update their knowledge on new and emerging methods for illicit financial flow generation, transfer, and use. Prosecutors and judges should establish new practices that align with changing legislation, such as asset forfeiture without the need for predicate crime. School teachers should play a stronger role in imparting media literacy and critical thinking, enabling students to identify and denounce disinformation.
The training and summer school will be followed by a SEE Good Governance Summit in Sofia planned for 9 November 2023. The summit will provide a platform for public-private cooperation and affirmation of anti-corruption commitments.