Norway and Germany working together to fight illicit financial flows in the Western Balkans

Norway's Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide and Germany's Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller. - Photo:Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norway's Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide and Germany's Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller signing the agreement.

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) severely undermine development. The joint three-year initiative will focus on prevention, financial investigation and asset recovery in the Western Balkans.

The region is a crossroad between Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, and the transnational aspect of organized crime is especially relevant.

Considerable IFFs originate from drugs, arms and human trafficking as much as from widespread corruption, tax evasion and money laundering.

Together, we empower our partner institutions in North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro to fight IFFs by implementing standards against money-laundering and terrorist financing, improving confiscation and recovery of stolen assets and establishing beneficial ownership registries.

To address the issue of illegal cash transport we support establishing multi agency teams and training of cash dogs and dog handlers. We work with a variety of actors including civil society and the media.