Action against Economic Crime
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Action area: Albania
Budget: 1,000.000 Euro
Funding: European Union / Council of Europe
Implementation: Council of Europe
Duration: 36 Months (as of 24 May 2016)
Background on Horizontal Facility
The European Union and Council of Europe signed Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (hereafter referred to as “Horizontal Facility”) on 23rd of May 2016. The Horizontal Facility builds on the CoE and EU Policy priorities in the context of the Western Balkans and Turkey and on the CoE expertise in standard-setting, monitoring and cooperation methodologies. It aims to improve implementation of key recommendations of relevant Council of Europe monitoring and advisory bodies in the areas indicated in the Statement of Intent signed on 1 April 2014 by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.
The Horizontal Facility beneficiaries and counterparts are governmental bodies at all levels, notably specialised structures within the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Finance; specialised agencies/bureaux/commissions involved in the prevention and fight against corruption and economic crime; Judicial and Prosecutorial Services, supervisory bodies; Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), and representatives of civil society.
Sector interventions to be undertaken in the SEE Member States/ IPA II Beneficiaries were designed based on recommendations emanating from Council of Europe monitoring and opinion advisory bodies, prioritised according to the needs within the enlargement negotiations of the countries with the European Union.
In the field of fight against economic crime, three specific actions were designed within the Horizontal Facility Programme to support tailored reform processes in Albania, Montenegro and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. Those actions will aim to improve implementation of key recommendations of the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), and to further strengthen institutional capacities regarding the code of conduct of public officials, whistleblower protection, financing of political parties and election campaigns and other measures to counter and prevent corruption; money laundering; the financing of terrorism in accordance with European standards. The actions have the duration of 36 months.
Action Approach in Albania
The Action against Economic Crime in Albania (AEC-AL) will aim to improve implementation of key and recent recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), and to further strengthen institutional capacities to counter and prevent corruption; money laundering; and the financing of terrorism in accordance with European standards.
The action will focus on supporting the authorities in several directions including:
- Support for the strengthening of legislation and regulatory frameworks;
- Institutional capacity building;
- Support enhanced inter-agency and international cooperation
Overall and Specific Objectives
The overall objective of the action is to contribute to democracy and the rule of law through prevention and control of economic crimes in Albania in accordance with European and other international standards.
The specific objectives of the action are:
- Political Party Funding legislation and institutional framework is revised. Expected Results: The legal framework for regulating political party funding is enhanced; Capacities of authorities responsible for oversight of political party funding are strengthened.
- Asset declaration system is improved. Expected Results: HIDAACI’s ability and capacity to implement an online asset declaration system, perform effective verifications of asset declarations and publish declarations are improved.
- AML/CFT legislative and strategic framework is revised. Expected Results: An updated National Risk Assessment on AML/CFT is available; Capacities and awareness of all relevant AML/CFT key players on NRA and its recommendations are enhanced; AML/CFT legislation and strategies are reviewed and amended based on new international standards.
- Capacities of law enforcement authorities, prosecution and judiciary to fight ML and TF are enhanced. Expected Results: Procedural framework for investigating/prosecuting and adjudicating proceeds-generating crimes, including ML is reviewed; Capacities and skills of the LEA/prosecution and judiciary in investigating/prosecuting and adjudicating ML cases, especially on third party ML cases are enhanced; The procedures and capacities of authorities to identify, seize, confiscate and subsequently manage and dispose of criminal proceeds and property are enhanced.
- Inter-agency cooperation is streamlined and improved . Expected Results: Inter-institutional cooperation between LEA involved in the field of financial investigations and proliferation financing is improved; Inter-institutional cooperation between supervisors in the AML/CFT field is improved.
Implementation and Arrangements
As the key actor in this thematic area and the IPA region, the Council of Europe, and more specifically the Action against Crime Department, through its Economic Crime and Cooperation Division (ECCD) will be in charge of implementing the activities under this action.
A Project Officer will be based in the Council of Europe Office in Tirana. He/she will work directly with the beneficiaries and will be supervised by the Administrator and Project Manager of the Horizontal Facility Programme based in Strasbourg at the Economic Crime and Cooperation Division.
In addition based on the activity needs and intervention profiles the Council of Europe will engage a number of international long-term and short-term consultant/experts and local consultants/experts, service providers and suppliers, so as to ensure the proper implementation of the action.