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Balkan regional cooperation

The regional cooperation in the Western Balkans was initiated in 2013. It aims to strengthen the professional and organisational competencies of the supreme audit institutions in the region. The overall objective is for the development cooperation activities should aim towards increased impact of the audit reports.

Our work aims to create arenas for collegial cooperation between the supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in the region on different levels as well as assist in organising forums for the SAIs to cooperate with their stakeholders, mainly the parliaments. The regional cooperation is a complement to and strengthen the bilateral partnerships already established with Kosovo National Audit Office.

The Swedish National Audit Office act in this cooperation as a neutral catalyst to contribute to the implementation of the existing cooperation initiatives. It is crucial to support networks between these SAIs despite historical disagreements in the region. The SAIs of the Western Balkans work under similar circumstances, fight comparable challenges and have a joint or related history. The EU and the EU harmonization is an important uniting factor in the region. The support from the Swedish National Audit Office aims to complement EU:s endeavours by working with the professional development of auditors in the region. The support from the Swedish National Audit Office is aligned with the priorities of Sweden’s global development policy both in regional focus and the focus of strengthening democratic institutions as well as the enlargement ideas of the EU.

In 2016 the Swedish National Audit Office became co-chair of the Joint Working Group for Audit Activities (JWGAA). The working group for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of candidate and potential candidate countries to EU with the aim to promote and facilitate hands on-cooperation between the members and SAIs of EU member states. The working group meet regularly on both top management level as well as on working level. Several activities aiming to develop audit skills and seminars on topics of mutual interest are being organised.

During 2020 the Swedish National Audit Office has contributed to four initiatives from the SAIs in the Western Balkans and Turkey under the auspice of JWGAA.

  • Round table was conducted in Montenegro in February 2020. Developing Effective Working Relationships between Supreme Audit institutions and Parliaments more precisely the topics of the event were “holding effective hearings” and “rapporteur systems for SAI reports”. This conference brought together the SAIs of the Network of EU Candidate and Potential Candidates Countries, along with members and staff from the relevant Parliamentary Committees.
  • Workshop planned for June 2020 in Ankara, Turkey. The theme of this WS is ”Effective report writing” and ”Clear language”.
  • Semi-regional workshop on quality assurance planned for October in Montenegro.
  • Advanced training for performance auditors will be conducted in Albania in November 2020.

Monitoring of implemented activities shows that the workshops and seminars carried out are highly appreciated and that the knowledge gained from the regional cooperation is applicable in the daily audit work. Professional and social networks between auditors are created thanks to these initiatives and they exist and are used long after the activities have ended.

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Updated: 23 March 2020

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