According to BCSDN’s latest Monitoring Matrix report, Anti-money laundering / Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in the Western Balkans is considered problematic as it does not reflect the nature of CSOs and may result in registration difficulties and threat CSO operations (e.g. by causing difficulties in accessing banking services). The legislative framework in most of the countries is not fully in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations and places additional burdensome requirements on CSOs (Kosovo, Albania, BiH). Throughout the region, it is of great importance to change the discourse on how the state institutions respond to AML/CFT, how they understand and treat civil society, in order to ensure that the regulations correspond to the nature and characteristics of CSOs and do not hinder CSOs’ operations.
To this end, BCSDN is happy to announce the signing of a partnership agreement with the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, for initiating the Western Balkan and Turkey AML/CFT Expert Hub, as a way to respond to the needs and challenges of the WBT CSOs in this area, to ensure better regional exchange and learning, and stronger coordination and collaboration on the regional level.
The 18 months-long project, starting in May 2022, aims to contribute towards increased awareness, knowledge, and capacities for AML advocacy, stronger regional cooperation and joint advocacy efforts in the region, and increased contribution and involvement of WBT CSOs in international and global AML/CFT initiatives. Through the WBT Expert Hub, BCSDN will aim to provide flexible support and plan specific activities not in advance but over the course of the project duration, in order to ensure they are based on the current and developing needs of the partners, or wider civil society in the countries, and to amplify national and regional efforts to improve the environment in which CSOs operate.
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