In August 2021, The Ministry of Defence of North Macedonia launched its integrity plan for 2021-2024. The Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS), as well as civil society organizations in North Macedonia contributed with their expertise to the plan.
– This Integrity Plan 2021-2024 is an important step in establishing a resilient and transparent defence sector, ready to respond to the emerging security challenges. It also contributes to the anti-corruption efforts of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, to meeting our NATO membership obligations and to our strategic goal for EU accession, states the MOD of North Macedonia.
Starting in 2020 CIDS is in the process of implementing a technical assistance project aimed at building integrity at the Ministry of Defence of North Macedonia. The project comes as a follow up to the 2015 study of Difi – the Norwegian Agency for Public Administration and Government – on integrity in the defence sector of North Macedonia. The study and the follow up consultations between the Ministries of Defence of Norway and of North Macedonia provided a base with which to launch a technical assistance project. The main aim is to address the identified needs in the study and to support the Ministry of Defence of North Macedonia in its plans and reform efforts to establish integrity structures and practices in the defence sector.
The issue of building integrity is considered as part of North Macedonia’s obligations arising from its membership in NATO and its accession negotiations with the EU. North Macedonia’s strategic documents such as the Strategic Defence Review, Strategy for Management of Human Resources in Defence, the Strategic Plan of the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption 2020-2022 as well as the Strategy for reform in public administration 2018-2022, set the fight against corruption and integrity building as major goals. In this framework, the project has the following three purposes:
- To provide assistance in the implementation of proposals to increase integrity and to minimize corruption risks through improved systems, procedures and practices for: a) human resources management, b) public procurement, c) integrity planning and programming, d) corruption-risk management and monitoring, e) the handling of conflicts of interest, f) arrangements for asset disposal, g) enhanced transparency, and h) other administrative and institutional arrangements.
- To increase levels of competence among civil servants and raise awareness among representatives of related stakeholders such as academic institutions and civil society to promote integrity in the security and defence areas.
- To systematize and disseminate security-related experience that may be conducive to pro-integrity reforms in other parts of the public administration in North Macedonia.
The objective of the project is therefore to contribute to establishing a better public integrity framework and reducing legal and institutional risks of corruption in the defence sector. The technical assistance is for the time being targeted at the Ministry of Defence of North Macedonia.
The project will continuously observe and align its activities to assist North Macedonia in achieving its goals, both defined in the national legislation and strategies as well as assisting the country to meet its international obligations following its NATO membership and in line with the EU accession process. This is an important contribution also to North Macedonia’s efforts to successfully implement the reform efforts undertaken particularly in the period from 2017 until present times for improving the integrity system in the national governance.
Islam Jusufi, Local Team Leader
Svein Eriksen, Senior Adviser
Damir Ahmetovic, Regional Project Coordinator/PAR Expert
Anela Duman, International Public Management Expert