Shekerinska: With the new Integrity Plan we leave zero space for corruption in the defence

The Ministry of Defence adopted the second Integrity Plan for the period 2021 – 2024, which is one of the key anti-corruption policies and is practically a tool that leaves zero space for corruption in the defence.

The Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, at today’s presentation of the Integrity Plan, pointed out that the Ministry has been extremely active in the field of accountability and transparency, which are the basis for efficient and accountable defence.

“In 2020 we were the first Ministry in our history that become a leader in terms of active transparency, and this year we not only retained this first place, but we managed to achieve a 100-percent result in terms of the criteria by which active transparency is assessed. This active transparency is extremely important because it is one of the strongest tools for openness, accountability and the fight against corruption. We also showed excellent results in the measurement of defence integrity by the international Transparency International. Due to this policy in terms of fighting corruption, creating integrity and active transparency, North Macedonia has become the second best country in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of integrity in the defence sector. We succeeded in this research, in this analysis to be better than 4 EU member states and 6 countries that have long been members of the NATO Alliance and it showed that even before we became a NATO member we implemented policies that look more forward and are more ambitious than the others”, the minister said.

While promoting the new Integrity Plan of the Ministry of Defence, for the period 2021-2024, the Minister said that the purpose of its preparation is to develop a transparent defence sector with a developed system that will guarantee integrity on a daily basis.

Shekerinska informed that this Integrity Plan focuses on the human resources management system, prevention of conflict of interest, elimination of corruption risks during participation in international missions, strengthening the integrity of public procurements, but also creating stronger internal control mechanisms.

“Transparency and integrity are key ingredients if we want to develop so-called resilient institutions and resilient societies. And it is this resilience that is becoming the new NATO priority. Resilience to crises, resilience to imported problems, resilience to disinformation, resilience to external influences – you can create all this in a society if you develop that society and those institutions with transparency and integrity. This Integrity Plan is not only part of our fight against corruption, but also part of our strategy to develop a resilient society and resilient institutions”, the minister said.

The Minister expressed appreciation for the strong commitment of the team of experts in the Ministry, the experts from the Norwegian Centre for Integrity who were actively involved in the development, as well as the non-governmental sector in the country, from where valuable advice was received for improving the Integrity Plan.

The Norwegian Defence Attaché accredited for North Macedonia, Dag-Magne Lunde, said that the fact that North Macedonia had recently became a member of the NATO – Alliance, does not mean that the reform process should stop, but on the contrary, all allies, old and new should constantly focus on good governance and anti-corruption measures.

“It is important to minimize risk factors by strengthening institutional resilience. We must all make sure that the defence personnel, civilians, as well as members of the military, know and respect the rules and provisions of integrity in order to protect integrity and ensure that the necessary high standards are met. This means that this plan is a valuable additional contribution of both North Macedonia and Norway to our Alliance, as well as to the NATO Building Integrity Programme, which seeks to strengthen the integrity structures in all NATO institutions and in the institutions of member states”, Lunde stressed.

The Integrity Plan 2021-2024 is a public document that can be found on the website of the Ministry of Defence where the results of the reports that are prepared every six months will be made public.

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