Training: Screening the chapter 23

The second workshop of the Macedonian Network 23 was held from 11 to 14 December in Struga, Macedonia, and our Dina Bajramspahić shared experience of civil society in Montenegro in monitoring the accession negotiations in Chapter 23 and the directions for the reform of the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

The workshop topic “Experiences, Challenges and Potential Risks in the work of Network 23” was dedicated to the structure of Chapter 23 “Judiciary and Fundamental Rights” as well as to screening findings of this chapter in countries of region.

The participants of the training were the representatives of the Civil Society Organization Network 23, whose task is monitoring the situation in the field of Chapter 23 in Macedonia.

The project is implemented by European Policy Institute, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights and Center for Change Management with the support of EU. Besides Institute Alternative, associates from the region are European Policy Centre from Belgrade and European Institute Foundation from Sofia.

On this occasion, Dina has delivered 2 presentations during this three-day workshop.

First one was referring to the position of Montenegro at the moment when it comes to negotiations in general as well on the most important issues in relation to chapter 23. She presented the report on the screening of Montenegro for Chapter 23, benchmarks as well as the Action plan for this chapter. She also presented the information about the participation of civil society in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan, the participation of Institute Alternative in the working group for this chapter, the key actions (measures) in the field of justice, corruption and human rights, key challenges and shortcomings in the implementation of these reforms, interim benchmarks, audit of Action plan, and problems in Montenegro in chapter 23 that the European Commission has pointed in this year’s progress Report.

The second presentation was dealing with one specific topic, which is the segment of reforms under Chapter 23 – the reform of the special prosecutor’s office and establishing the basis for the formation of the Montenegrin Special Office for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime, modeled on the example of Croatian Bureau for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK). She presented the draft Law on the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office, the comments of Institute Alternative on a draft and its key limitations, problems in the work of the former Department of Special Prosecutor’s Office, and the lessons learned from the comparative practices which Institute Alternative has presented in the study “The institutional framework for investigations of corruption and organized crime – Comparative Models”. She has also presented the key findings of the report IA cooperation between the police and the prosecution on the “local” level and other activities of our Institute which are related to strengthening inter-agency cooperation in the criminal justice system in Montenegro.

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