GOOD GOVERNANCE AND INTEGRITY CULTURE
The Ministry of Defence and the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia continuously implement measures and activities to promote good governance and strengthen the integrity culture.
In 2018, with the technical support from NATO, we started with the implementation of the “NATO Train the Trainers” programme in the area of integrity. The program is aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity and the establishment of a sustainable system for employee training, which should enable continuous improvement of the integrity culture. In November 2019, at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, we promoted 16 trainers from the Republic of North Macedonia who will begin conducting regular trainings on integrity for employees in the Ministry of Defence, the Army and the Military Academy, starting from 2020.
In February 2019, in Washington, the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska took part in the NATO building integrity conference.
At the building integrity conference held under the motto “Building strong and resistant institutions to strengthen our partnerships”, during the panel discussion with the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy – Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzález, Shekerinska addressed the challenges associated with transparency, accountability and integrity in the defence sector.
“The fact that NATO invited us to speak about the policies required for building integrity in the country and in the defence sends a very positive signal that creates confidence among the citizens. According to studies of the civil society, in a single year, the Ministry of Defence made big leap and is now ranked among the top three institutions in the country by transparency, accountability and integrity, which is best evidence of the success of reforms and the most effective way to fight corruption”, said Minister Shekerinska.
In April 2019, the Public Affairs Regional Centre conducted the pilot NATO Course – Building Integrity in the Public Relations. The implementation of the pilot course exactly in the Republic of North Macedonia confirms the progress and capacity building in the area of integrity.
More on the following link: https://parc.mk/building-integrity-in-public-affairs-course/
Along with the cooperation with NATO, we are continuously implementing other activities for fostering the culture of integrity and promoting good governance.
Between 22 and 26 January 2018, at the Public Affairs Regional Centre (PARC) we conducted the training cycle for building integrity of the most senior management in the Ministry of Defence and the Army. The purpose of the training, realized with the support of the Military Academy of the United Kingdom was to highlight the role of the senior management in building a system of integrity and highlighting areas at risk of corruption.
The training was opened by the Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska, who in her speech stated: “Building Integrity is a policy that has no alternative, and a policy that will make us more powerful as a state. Integrity creates trust and strong systems that in times of crises yield results. We need to create a system of principles that will not depend on who the minister is, and a system that will be immune to all attempts of misusing the official position. I am pleased that we succeeded in a relatively short time to create the part of the web-site of the Ministry called “The public has a right to know”, because that is truly the case – the public has a right to know what we are doing with respect to the strategic goals of the country, the public has a right to know what we are doing with the money that citizens paid into the budget of Macedonia. Transparency is not always easy.
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The history of the building integrity began with the signing of a joint statement at a meeting of defence ministers of the SEDM member countries, in October 2012. Macedonia formally joined NATO’s Building Integrity initiative in 2012. In 2013, for the first time we opened the toll-free phone line and e-mail address for reporting suspicions of corruption. In February 2014, the Republic of Macedonia added the Partnership Goal G 0204 – Building Integrity to the package of Partnership Goals which provides: integrity self-assessment, drafting an integrity plan, developing a pool of experts who will conduct trainings on integrity in the national training centres and continuously work on raising the awareness about integrity among employees.
In June 2015, the Ministry of Defence completed the first phase of the integrity self-assessment and delivered the integrity self-assessment questionnaire to NATO. From 5 to 8 October 2015, a group of experts from NATO (Peer Review Team) visited Macedonia and conducted interviews with the relevant heads of departments related to the delivered Questionnaire – Peer Review Process. In January 2016, the Republic of Macedonia officially submitted the final NATO Peer Review Report, thus completing the process of integrity self-assessment.
In 2015, it established a working group for drafting integrity plans for the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Republic of Macedonia. Based on observations of the NATO report (Peer Review Report) and the obligations of state programs for prevention and repression of corruption and conflict of interests, the working group developed an integrity plan for the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Republic of Macedonia, which was adopted in February 2016 year.