Corruption remains a serious challenge for Kosovo*. According to
a number of surveys conducted by national and international organizations,
control of corruption has proved to be scarce. In the field of money
laundering and terrorism financing, recent assessments have also
shown that there is a need for continuous legislative and organizational
reforms to bring Kosovo* in line with European and international
standards. While reforms related to corruption and money laundering
have been underway for several years, there has been no structured,
longer-term process to assess the progress and impact achieved up
to date and highlight short-medium and long term reform steps. In
view of this and while acknowledging the need of a structured and
unified assessment process in Kosovo* and in these areas (Anti-corruption
and Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorist Financing
based on international/regional standards and practices as well
as the successful experience of previous interventions of the Council
of Europe carried out in Kosovo*, a project to address actions as
such was designed in cooperation with counterpart institutions in
Kosovo* and European Union Office in Pristina. As a results an IPA
2012í Contribution Agreement as a Joint Programme was signed in
January 2012 between the Council of Europe and the European Union
Office in Pristina. The PECK Project started on 1 February 2012,
with a duration of 30 months and a budget of 1,200.000 Euro (EU
funds: 83.3% and CoE funds: 16.7%). The Projectís overall objective
is to contribute to the democracy and the rule of law through the
prevention and control of corruption; money laundering; and the
financing of terrorism in Kosovo*. The Projectís purpose is to strengthen
institutional capacities to counter corruption; money laundering;
and the financing of terrorism in Kosovo* in accordance with European
standards through assessments and recommendations for improving
and streamlining reforms to combat economic crime. The Office of
Good Governance (OGG), the Kosovo* Anti-Corruption Agency (KAA),
and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), are the main counterpart
institutions for this Project.
Follow-up reports on the progress made in the implementation of the 1st cycle recommendations for the anti-corruption (AC) and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) components
At the end of April 2014, the PECK Project finalised and submitted to the Kosovo authorities
Follow-up reports assessing progress made in the implementation of the 1st cycle assessment recommendations for both AC and AML/CFT components. The reports cover the period from 10 June 2013 (official adoption of the assessment reports) to 14 February 2014 and are available in English, Albanian and Serbian languages. In addition, the Project has disseminated the reports to all relevant stakeholders, including international organisations and civil society, and urged the Kosovo authorities to publish them on their respective websites as well.
The Follow-up reports were prepared based on the information collected by the Project from relevant beneficiary institutions and open sources. The first drafts were discussed with the representatives of beneficiary institutions at the interagency workshop held in Pristina on 3-4 December 2013. In addition, the authorities had the opportunity to comment and provide additional information in writing until mid-February 2014. The reports concluded that despite some positive developments the progress made so far is rather slow and limited. In view of this, the Kosovo authorities are strongly urged to make vigorous and sustainable efforts in order to implement the pending PECK recommendations and thus improve compliance with international standards in AC and AML/CFT fields. This would require strong political commitment in addition to co-ordinated, prioritised and effective measures that need to be taken without any further delay.
The implementation of the pending recommendations will be re-assessed by the PECK Project in the 2nd assessment cycle at the end of which final assessment reports on compliance with international standards will be drawn up.
Support to the revision of the AML/CFT Law
PECK Project is assisting Kosovo authorities with comprehensive revision of the AML/CFT Law in order to improve its compliance with applicable European and international standards. This activity builds on the results and findings of the recent PECK assessment report and will also contribute to the implementation of the outstanding recommendations on the AML/CFT Law. To this end, the PECK Project engaged two international Council of Europe experts who will advise and assist a Working Group to be set up in near future with the revision of the AML/CFT law. On 11-12 December 2014, the experts held first bilateral meetings with key counterparts, including the Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Bank of Kosovo, EUO, civil society and industry representatives. A Technical Meeting with members of a future Working Group was also held with the aim to discuss the deficiencies identified in PECK assessment reports, other domestic and international documents, and through the consultation process launched by the FIU in November 2014. It was agreed that the first draft amendments to the AML/CFT law will be prepared and submitted to the Working Group and CoE experts for review and comments by mid-January 2015. The second onsite visit of the CoE experts to review and discuss the consolidated draft amendments and comments of the Working Group is tentatively scheduled for mid-February with the aim to have the final draft ready by the end of March 2015.
PECK Plenary Meeting to adopt the 2nd cycle AC and AML/CFT assessment reports
(Pristina, Kosovo, 2-3 December 2014)
The 2nd cycle Assessment Reports on the compliance of Kosovo with international standards in anti-corruption (AC) and anti-money laundering/combating terrorism financing (AML/CFT) areas prepared on the basis of GRECO and FATF/Moneyval methodologies were discussed and officially adopted at the Plenary meeting held in Pristina on 2-3 December 2014. About 65 representatives of relevant beneficiary institutions, international experts, representatives of key stakeholders on the part of international organisations, private sector and civil society attended the meeting and participated in fruitful discussions. The adoption of the Assessment Reports marks the completion of the assessment exercise carried out by the Project in two cycles in the period of September 2012 to December 2014.
The reports are currently being finalised in light of the comments and changes agreed during the Plenary meeting, and will be proofread in English and Albanian, and translated into Serbian. The finalised Assessment Reports in English, Albanian and Serbian will be submitted to the Kosovo authorities and published on the Project website in February 2015. The beneficiary institutions will be requested to publish the reports on their respective websites as well. In addition, the Assessment Reports will be presented and widely disseminated to all relevant stakeholders, including representatives of international organisations, private sector and civil society at the High-level visibility event planned to take place in Pristina in March 2015 in conjunction with the Project Closing Conference.
notes of Mr A. Forde,
Head of the Council of Europe Office in Pristina, a.i.
Mr Edmond Dunga, PECK Advisor,
Council of Europe;
Mr F. Denker, Council of Europe
Mr D. Galicic, Council of Europe
Mr JC Geiser, Council of Europe
Mr H. LaFerla, Council of Europe
F. Cottalorda, Council of Europe
Law enforcement and
Activities in the past:
- November 2014