Macedonia: BAMIN 2018 – Annual regional conference on asset recovery in the Western Balkans


The improvement and advancement of international and inter-institutional cooperation of all bodies in the Western Balkans region that manage assets seized from organized crime, was among the central topics of the annual Regional Workshop on Best Practices on Asset Recovery and Management – BAMIN 2018 that took place in Skopje on 26-27 June 2018.

The aim of this Annual General Meeting of the the Balkan Asset Management Inter-agency Network (BAMIN), organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice was to promote the exchange of best practices between European Union member states and BAMIN members from eight Balkan countries. Our EU funded project "Further support to Kosovo institutions in the fight against organized crime, corruption and violent extremism", in its role as the BAMIN Secretariat, supported the organisation of the meeting.

BAMIN’s objective is to assist the countries in developing better procedures that would enable them to proceed faster with the disposal of the recovered assets, and return the benefits to the citizens and to the state budgets. As the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Oliver Ristovski pointed, the countries are gradually changing their practice from standard punishment with jail sentence to more accentuated confiscation of the illegally gained assets and profits. According to him, the developed strategies and action plans, the legislative framework and the numerous international instruments solely, are not enough to successfully suppress organized crime.

Participants also have also heard from a panel of EU experts from Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and The Netherlands on the opportunities and operational challenges in establishing an effective Asset Management Office (AMO), seen from EU member states jurisdictions that have recently completed the process or are currently establishing an AMO. Discussions during the conference have also focused on the topics of storage and sale of seized and confiscated assets, as well as management of company assets.

The BAMIN Annual Regional Meeting was organised and funded by the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX) of the European Commission.

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