Development of Monitoring Instruments for Judicial and Law Enforcement institutions in the Western Balkans (CARDS Regional Action Programme)
Funded by the European Union
Phase 1 - Research
Initial meeting of project partners and other relevant organizations - The project launch meeting was held on 26 March 2009 in Vienna. It was attended by Representatives of Permanent Missions in Vienna of countries involved in the Project, Project Partners, Project Associate, the European Commission representative, International Organizations representatives, Academic and Non-Governmental Organizations representatives and UNODC.
Following consultations between UNODC and the project partners, agreements with HEUNI, ICMPD and TRANSCRIME have been finalized and signed.
Desk Research on Systems and Context of Justice and Home Affairs Statistics in the Western Balkans using open sources and direct contact with focal points - Project partners HEUNI and ICMPD, together with UNODC, have prepared draft country chapters for all project countries/territories. Sources used in drafting the chapter included data from the national statistical office, the American Bar Association, CARDS Regional Police Project (CARPO) situation reports, Institute for Development Research and Alternatives (IDRA) Surveys, responses to the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) questionnaire, EC progress reports, Eurostat, Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) reports, national strategies for combating trafficking in human beings, OSCE reports, Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) reports, South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) reports, national laws, data reported to the UN Crime Trends Survey and data reported to the European Sourcebook of crime and criminal justice statistics. The Background Research report on Systems and Context of Justice and Home Affairs Statistics in the Western Balkans has been finalized as a "Draft" version and is now shared with EC delegations and government counterparts in all project countries or territories for final comments. After a final round of editing the report will go to the printer in early 2010.
Study of EU acquis - A draft outline for the study of the current EU acquis for the collection of statistics on crime and criminal justice has been prepared and has been further discussed with project partners HEUNI and ICMPD. After an initial search of the literature and relevant EU documents, it was decided to widen the strict interpretation of EU acquis to include all relevant norms and standards at EU level and beyond applicable to the collection of statistics on crime and criminal justice. Consequently, the study "Developing standards in justice and home affairs statistics. International and EU Acquis" has been prepared in "Draft" version and is now shared and further discussed with relevant experts at the European and regional levels. After a final round of editing the report will go to the printer in early 2010.
Development of on-site visit checklist - The on-site visit checklist has been designed to guide researchers during research missions to each of the 7 countries/ territories. The checklist is informed by the study of EU acquis and makes use of relevant EU definitions, such as that of 'money laundering' and 'trafficking in human beings'. After consultations between Transcrime and UNODC a working version of the checklist was agreed upon and has been used in the on-site research missions.
On-site research - On-site research using the checklist and building on the background research and the EU Acquis study has been conducted by international experts with the support of the Advisory Steering Group members and in close collaboration with the focal points in situ. The first four research missions to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro have been implemented. Institutions contacted during these missions include relevant law enforcement bodies (police, specialised police units, border police, etc), prosecutor's offices, courts, Ministries of Interior, Ministries of Justice, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Statistical Offices and other institutions and organisations. Consideration was also given to meetings with relevant anti-corruption, anti-human trafficking and anti-money laundering institutions. Planning and preparation of the next research mission to Macedonia in January is ongoing.