YEREVAN, September 25. /ARKA/. The European Union and the Council of Europe announced today the launch of the program called “Strengthening the institutional capacity to prevent and combat corruption in Armenia” with a total budget of 850 thousand euros.
According to Mustafa Ferati, head of a Council of Europe division in charge of co-operation and combating crime against economic activities, the program’s duration is three years and its implementation is co-funded by the EU (90%) the Council of Europe (10$). The program is part of the Eastern Partnership program.
“The program’s goal is to assist in the development of strategic steps in the fight against corruption, in the implementation of preventive measures through the provision of productive tools, as well as in the formation of a legal system by enhancing the law enforcement system in investigating corruption, money laundering and other economic crimes,” Ferati said.
He said the anticipated result is a modernized anti-corruption legislation, improved system for declaring property and detecting illegal enrichment, increased productivity in detecting corruption crimes and introduction of institutional mechanisms for the return of illegally acquired property.
According to Ferati, Armenia needs to step up steps to combat corruption and create appropriate institutional structures.
Among the priorities for Armenia, he also pointed out the strengthening of the institute for the protection of whistleblowers (persons who report corruption crimes), and did not exclude the possibility of creating a special fund for the sale of confiscated illegally acquired property.
“The presence of a register of real owners, the introduction of a system of protection against money laundering, coupled with increased transparency of the system for declaring the income of government officials, will allow Armenia to overcome corruption,” Ferati said.