The Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, the AIRE Centre and the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI), with the support of the Government of the United Kingdom, organised the Regional Conference "Effective confiscation of property acquired through criminal activity in accordance with European standards", which took place in Podgorica on 14 October 2022.

"The law on confiscation of property acquired through criminal activity is one of the most significant solutions that will soon be presented to the members of the Montenegrin parliament. In order to find out how criminal groups acquired financial power, we must have legal solutions that will allow that power to be limited, stopped, or in cases where it is proven that the property was acquired illegally, redistributed for citizens' needs," shared Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, who opened the event.

The participants of the conference were judges and prosecutors from the entire region, as well as representatives of key institutions that are part of the system for confiscation of property benefits acquired through criminal activity. The conference was included many prominent speakers: Dritan Abazović, Steve Arrick, Biljana Braithwaite,  Desislava Gotskova, Marko Kovač, Filip Adžić, Jaka Brezigar, Maja Jovanović, Biljana Braithwaite, Vladimir Novović, Michele del Prete, Marija Vučko, Arben Kraja, Miljko Radisavljević, Vukas Radonjić, Jill Thomas, Valentina Pavličić, Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, Eldan Mujanović and Ivana Mašanović.

"In the moments of the greatest challenges for regional dialogue, communication within the judiciary remained. In the time of the most difficult obstacles to ensure the independence, transparency and responsibility of the holders of positions of the highest responsibility, in the judiciary we always found people ready to continue their mission, because they were aware of the fact that trust in the judicial system can only be built on the basis of the independent and impartial action of each prosecutor and judge individually," said the director of the AIRE Centre, Biljana Braithwaite.

Director Braithwaite underlined that the future of combating criminal activity depends on the regional cooperation and dialogue brought today in Podgorica.  Desislava Gotskova, director of the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative, added the importance of knowledge transfer and sharing of good practices.

"As a regional intergovernmental organization with a clear anti-corruption mandate, RAI has a longstanding experience in supporting asset recovery in SEE. Strengthening the capacity of national authorities and enhancing regional cooperation in asset recovery is one of RAI's primary objectives. Our asset is our membership, bearing in mind that we have experts coming in from EU countries that can address challenges and questions their counterparts have in the Western Balkans region. Together we can do so much more", shared Gotskova.