Tackling State Capture in Southeast Europe: Delivering on the European Rule of Law Promise

25 January 2023, Belgrade, Serbia

8:45 - 9:15


9:15 - 10:00

Opening remarks

10:00 - 10:10

Keynote address: Bridging the Gap between Diagnostics and State Capture

10:10 - 11:20

Panel 1: Countering State Capture: Exposing Corruption Risks from Politically Connected Companies

The panelists will reveal how combining data from public procurement registers and company datasets could lead to the creation of systems for real-time monitoring of risks and vulnerabilities in politically-connected companies. Civil society and government stakeholders will also debate how integrity breaches in the distribution of public and EU money could be prevented, detected, and punished.

11:20 - 11:40

Coffee Break

11:40 - 13:00

Panel 2: Making Asset Declarations Work: Flagging Illicit Enrichment

Asset declarations are a strong, but currently under-used instrument for corruption and illicit finance prevention among civil servants and politically exposed persons (PEPs). The panelists will exchange good practices and provide recommendations on how this tool could become more efficient in Southeast Europe. The focus will be placed on improving the legal base, interconnection of national registers and cross-border data exchange, the establishment of unified checking procedures, and enhancing prosecution and sanctioning.

13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 14:10

Video address: Towards Reinvigorating Euro-Atlantic Anti-Corruption Cooperation

14:10 - 15:30

Panel 3: Showcasing Public-Private Partnership Approaches in Southeast Europe

The policy forum will continue by discussing how public bodies could benefit from the legal and analytical expertise and watchdog functions of civil society and the media. The speakers will showcase the support provided by civil society for the enhancement of the internal anti-corruption policies and measures applied in individual public bodies, through the use of the innovative Monitoring Anti-corruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) tool.

15:30 - 15:50

Coffee Break

15:50 - 17:30

Panel 4: Exploring Civil Society Perspectives in the Context of the War in Ukraine

The last panel will present a reflection on the possible solutions for the next decade at the national and EU-level. Representatives of international bodies and the donor community will recommend how the countries from the region could apply the best legal and procedural standards, and bring together governments, civil society, investigative journalists, the business community, and academia. The panel will highlight the geopolitical, economic and governance challenges in front of Ukraine, the European support the county needs, as well as the good practices applicable to Southeast Europe.

State capture continues to plague Southeast Europe. The convergence of business and politics, the transformation of public institutions into repression tools, the accumulation of vast illicit wealth, formally owned by friends and family, all the while public spending remains dependent on international borrowing and purchasing power declines, results in a long-term democratic backslide in the entire region. Civil monitoring, analysis, and advice from anti-corruption councils rarely find their way into new laws, strategies, and policy measures based on the rule of law. The war in Ukraine exposed the gravity of hidden, long denied dependencies and foreign malign influence in all branches of government, in effect weakening the strive for meaningful reforms on the path to European integration.

Against this backdrop, on January 25, 2022 in Belgrade, the Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform (R2G4P) project will host a Policy Forum on Tackling State Capture Vulnerabilities in Southeast Europe, organised by Center for Study of Democracy (CSD) and European Policy Centre (CEP). Welcoming a plethora of renowned experts from across the region and beyond, the forum will showcase some of the best practices for exposing illicit enrichment and closing governance gaps.

The forum is continuing the series of  regional conferences, aimed to strengthen the cooperation between state institutions and the civil society. R2G4P members from four EU and five Western Balkan countries will present the highlights of the second SEE Good Governance Report, and promote the use of big data as a possible solution for uncovering patterns of corrupt behavior.

The working language of the event is English.

If you want to attend the event in person, please sent an email to office@cep.org.rs with your name and surname, the name and type of organisation you represent.

If you want to follow the event online, please register


Ruslan Stefanov

Program Director, Center for Study of Democracy

Ruslan has 20 years of experience in managing and delivering high-quality projects in civil society, research and consulting on anticorruption, informal economy, energy, and innovation in Europe. Ruslan is currently co-director and co-author of the Kremlin Playbook a joint project of the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Russia’s economic footprint and influence in Europe. He is the knowledge and development coordinator of the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI. Ruslan is an advisor on increasing knowledge for the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work. He is also the editor of Innovation.bg, the foremost monitoring and assessment tool of research and innovation policy in Bulgaria, and is an expert on smart specialization for the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Ruslan is a member of the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network and the Development Institute of the Center for International Private Enterprise, Washington, D.C., of the Advisory Board of the Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy at the University of Sheffield Management School, and of the International Association for Energy Economics.

Tanja Miščević

Minister of European Integration, Government of the Republic of Serbia

Miscevic is a full professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade at the Department of International and European Studies. She graduated from the Department of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade in 1989, received her master's degree in 1997, and obtained her PhD in political science in 2002 at the same Faculty. In the period from 2005 to 2008, she was the Director of the Serbian government’s Office for European Integration and a member of Serbia’s negotiating team for the conclusion of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU. During 2007, she led the negotiation team of the Republic of Serbia in negotiations on the conclusion of the Visa Facilitation Agreement and the Readmission Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union. She was the Vice President of the Anti-Corruption Agency from 2009 to 2011. In the period from 2010 to 2012, she was the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The Serbian government appointed Miscevic as the Head of the Team for Negotiations on the Membership of the Republic of Serbia with the European Union in August 2013 and she held this position until August 2019. From November 2019, she was the Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council.

Ambassador Jørn Eugene Gjelstad​

Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade

Jørn Gjelstad has been appointed Ambassador of Norway to Serbia in 2019. He previously served as Norway’s ambassador to the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus, Gjelstad was the director of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for policy development in a number of areas. Ambassador of Norway to Serbia, Jørn Gjelstad is married to Trine Ditlevsen, with whom he has three children.


United States Embassy in Belgrade

Christopher R. Hill arrived in Belgrade on March 31st, 2022. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Korea, Poland, and North Macedonia, as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Head of the U.S. delegation to the 6 Party Talks on North Korea. Earlier in his diplomatic career, Hill was the special envoy for the Kosovo crisis and prior to that was a member of the U.S. negotiating team whose efforts led to the Dayton Peace Agreement, ending the Bosnian war. Following his retirement from the Foreign Service in 2010, Hill was Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and then Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy, at the University of Denver. In 2021, Hill was named the George Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In October 2021, he was called upon to return to diplomatic service when President Biden nominated him to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia. Hill earned a B.A. at Bowdoin College and an M.S. at the Naval War College. The recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations and the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Award. Hill speaks Serbian, Polish, Macedonian, and French.

Srđan Majstorović

Chairman, Governing Board, European Policy Centre - CEP

Srđan has been the President of the Board of Directors of the Center for European Policies since October 12, 2017. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade and held the position of deputy director at the Office for European Integration from September 2005 to June 2017. Before being appointed to this position, Srđan worked in the Department for European Integration from 2003 to 2004. In August 2015, Srđan was appointed as a member of the Negotiation Team for conducting negotiations on the accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union. In the Advocacy Team, he is in charge of issues related to the fulfillment of the political criteria for EU accession and chapter 23 - Justice and fundamental rights and 24 - Justice, freedom, and security. During his career in the state administration, Srđan was also a member of the negotiating team of the Government of Serbia and participated in the negotiations on the conclusion of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Serbia. As a lecturer, he participated in numerous seminars, authored professional articles on the topic of European integration, and co-authored a television show on the same topic.

Viola von Cramon-Taubadel

Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Viola von Cramon-Taubadel has been a member of the Greens / EFA member of the European Parliament since 2019. She is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the deputy chair of the delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee. She is also part of the delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly „ EURONEST “ and deputy to the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Industry, Technology, Research and energy, and the delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. After joining the party in 2011, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel won, in 2008, one of the Körber Foundation's transatlantic ideas awards in Hamburg. From 2009-2013 she was a member of the 17th. Bundestag and worked as spokeswoman for EU external relations and a sports policy spokeswoman. She also sat as a full member of the Sports Committee, the European Union's Affairs Committee, and held the post of secretary. Because of her foreign policy priorities, she was also a full member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, a deputy member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Euromediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.

Viktoriia Poltoratskaia

Senior Analyst, Government Transparency Institute, Budapest

Viktoriia works as a quantitative analyst for Government Transparency Institute, a non-partisan think tank researching and advocating good governance. Her responsibilities include but are not limited to drafting analytical reports, conducting analysis and processing big data. There are multiple projects she is currently working on, including the one with Civil Society Advancing Beneficial Ownership Transparency group on Beneficial Ownership data and countering Anti-Money Laundering; country-specific report on corruption for the World Bank, analysis of regional corruption trends in public procurement for Council of Europe and data scraping project for Thomson Reuters. Recently she finished a project for OECD and IGAE on Machine Learning for Assessing Risks and Targeting Control Activities. She has extensive experience working as a research assistant for multiple academic projects mostly related to impact evaluation. Her main field of expertise is political economy, government procurements, and corruption, yet she is also developing her skills in data analysis. Her dissertation is focused on practices of electoral clientelism and its implications in a non-democratic context.

Dragana Rakić

Member, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade; Vice President, Democratic Party

Dragana Rakić has been a member of the National Assembly since the 1st of August 2022. She is also Deputy president of the Democratic Party (DS). Dragana Rakić occupies various positions. She is a member of several NGO in the fields of culture, ecology and sports. She is also very active in her local community, in the city of Vršac where she lives. She was a member of local parliament for two terms (2012-2020).

Prof. dr. Miroslav Milićević

Vice-President, Anti-corruption Council, Belgrade

Miroslav Milićević graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in 1973, completed his Master of Science degree in 1974, surgical specialty training in 1980, his PhD. in 1984. He has a subspecialty in abdominal surgery, HPB surgery and is a transplant and laparoscopic surgeon as well. In 1985 he became Head of the VII Department of the First Surgical Clinic University of Belgrade Clinical Center for HPB Surgery. In 1996 he was elected full Professor at the Belgrade School of Medicine. During his work he has been a member of numerous committees, working groups, and the Council of the Clinical Centre of Serbia. He is one of the founders of the Ethics Committee of the Clinical Center of Serbia, served as president and member in several terms. He was a postdoctoral Fubright fellow at UCSF California. Prof. Milicevic was a visiting professor at many European Universities. He has presented more than 150 lectures at Meetings, courses, work groups etc. and chaired 80 sessions during his career. He has headed many research projects for the Serbian Research Community. He was a founding Member of many international surgical societies and research groups. Prof. Milicevic is a honorary member of the Romanian and Bulgarian Association of Surgeons and many foreign Surgical Associations. He has a Causa Honoris at Democritos University in Greece and has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Palmes académiques (Knight of the French Order of Academic Palms. For his work in surgery, he has received many international and domestic awards. He retired as Director of the First Surgical Clinic University of Belgrade Clinical Center, the largest surgical clinic in the region where he performed the first liver transplantation and where he devised the Belgrade minimal blood loss liver resection technique with his associates. During his career he has presented a large number of papers and published chapters in international leading surgical textbook. During his surgical career he devoted part of his time to combating corruption and is presently the vice-president of the Government Council Against Corruption since 2012 when the former president passed away. He is an uncompromising proponent of rule of law and civil rights.

Bart de Bruijn

Regional Rule of Law Coordinator, Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgrade

Bart de Bruijn obtained a Master degrees at the University of Groningen. His research in Groningen focused on the success of the Ghanaian economic reform programs, in Utrecht he researched the accession of Poland to the EU. He started his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands in 2006. Formerly appointed to the Sub-Saharan Africa Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he then worked for the Ministry of Economic Affairs until 2012. He came back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012. where he worked until 2014. Bart de Bruijn was then attached In 2014 he was posted for two years to the Netherlands Dutch embassy in Afghanistan Kabul, Afghanistan, before joining the Netherlands Dutch embassy in Warsaw until 2021. Bart de Bruijn is now posted at the embassy in Belgrade, although he has a regional position embassy in Serbia. Bart de Bruijn is specialized in rule of law, trade promotion, development cooperation, and defence policy.

Savo Manojlović

Campaigns director, Kreni-Promeni

Savo Manojlović is a Serbian lawyer and activist. He gained public attention as a representative of the Start-Change initiative, as well as for organizing environmental protests in Serbia in 2021-2022. He was born in 1986 in Pristina , in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . He attended elementary school in his hometown, but because of the war in Kosovo and Metohija , he moved to Belgrade , where he completed elementary and later secondary education at the Thirteenth Belgrade High School . In 2008, he graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade. He has been employed at the Institute for Comparative Law since 2015. He is currently in the status of research associate. He is the president of the Association for the Protection of Constitutionality and Legality. As a representative of the Move-change initiative, he was the organizer of the protest against the proposal to amend the Law on Referendum and People's Initiative, as well as the Law on Expropriation, but also against the arrival of the Rio Tinto company and the destruction of Makish. He worked as a junior advisor in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia. As the secretary of the working groups of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance, he participated in their work and wrote the draft of the existing Law on Financing Political Activities, as well as its amendments. He was the central coordinator of the Anti-Corruption Agency for monitoring the financing of the political campaign for the local, provincial and general elections in 2012. Ha has been engaged as a legal expert or campaign organizer in a number of projects related to judicial reform, improving the economic environment, consumer protection, financing political parties, transparent employment, etc.

Simona Ernu

Executive Director, Romanian Academic Society

Simona Ernu is currently working as Executive Director at the Romanian Academic Society. The Academic Society of Romania (SAR) is the oldest active think-tank in Romania. Founded in 1996 as an academic association of famous names, it has been, over the years, a public policy research institute, a leader for the promotion of good governance, a consultant to the Romanian government, but also to other governments, a lasting partner in transition and state reform for The United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, before and after integration. SAR's greatest successes, from the Law of Free Access to Information to the adoption of the single quota, were not financed by anyone. The Coalition for a Clean Parliament was a voluntary activity. For several years already, their activity in matters of good governance is voluntary and is carried out through the Alliance for a Clean Romania, an indispensable action in the Romanian landscape, where collective action remains deficient, although it represents the basis of any realistic option for change.

Daniela Mineva

Senior Analyst, Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia

Daniela Mineva works as a Senior Analyst for the Center for the Study of Democracy and has a 20 years’ experience with EU and other donors financed projects in the areas of anti-corruption, management of EU funds and Cohesion policy, innovation policy, competitiveness, and hidden economy. She participated in the development of a number of national S&T policy-related documents, such as the Regional Innovation Strategy for the South-West region of Bulgaria, the Innovation.bg and e-Bulgaria reports. She is a country correspondent at ERAWATCH, where she participated in the projects “Contribution of policies at the regional level to the realization of the European Research Area” and “European Observatory of Research-Active Universities and National Public Research Funding Agencies” and worked on a Feasibility study on establishing a European platform for cooperation between labour inspectorates, and other relevant monitoring and enforcement bodies, to prevent and fight undeclared work.

Desislava Gotskova

Head of Secretariat, Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative, Sarajevo

Ms. Gotskova was selected as the Head of Secretariat at the 34th RAI Steering Group Meeting held on April 28, 2021. Ms. Gotskova holds a Master Degree in Law from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and a Master Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Ms. Gotskova has a thorough knowledge and extensive experience in international cooperation in judicial and police matters and in anti-corruption policy, strategic and action plan development. Prior joining the RAI, Ms Gotskova worked at the Bulgarian Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture (CIAF), now Anti-corruption Commission; EUROPOL and the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. While at Europol, she was involved in national and international asset recovery investigations linked to corruption and organized crime, supported the CARIN Secretariat and the Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) Platform in coordinating their activities and maintaining close liaison with the relevant stakeholders and partners such as UNODC/WB StAR Initiative; Council of Europe, APEC Anti-corruption and Transparency Working Group, etc. In 2018, she was appointed by the Minister of Justice to chair COPEN Working Group on the proposal for a regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. As a Chair of the Working Group, she represented the Council of the EU at the negotiations on the proposal of the regulation with the European Parliament and the European Commission. In the February 2019 – March 2021, Ms. Gotskova was a project manager of the regional project “Strengthening anticorruption in the South East Europe through improving asset seizure measures”, implemented by RAI Secretariat in cooperation with AIRE Centre. This engagement enabled her to get familiar with the political, social, economic and security landscape of the SEE region and has given her a broad overview and understanding of practical issues and problems related to anticorruption policies and mechanisms both on national and regional level.

Daniel Belingher

Head, Service for Implementing Structural Funds, Studies and Strategies, National Integrity Agency, Bucharest

Daniel Belingher graduated in 2013 with a doctorate from the University of Bucharest. His thesis focused on the coherence of macroeconomic policies under crisis conditions. After working in research from 2014 to 2016 for various employers, he joined the National Integrity Agency. Since 2018, Daniel Belingher has been working as Head of Structural Funds Implementation, Studies and Strategies Department where he manages European funds financed projects, and conducts research on various topics related to the Agency’s profile. He is also involved in the National Anticorruption Strategy implementation and reporting, and keeps maintaining a good relationship with various national and international anticorruption actors.

Andrew Dornbierer

Senior Asset Recovery Specialist, Basel Institute on Governance

Andrew Dornbierer is a Senior Asset Recovery Specialist with the International Centre for Asset Recovery at the Basel Institute on Governance. Since joining the Basel Institute in 2012, Andrew has worked extensively on financial investigation strategies, illicit enrichment-focused case strategies, and international cooperation in corruption and money laundering investigations. He is a recognised international expert on illicit enrichment (unexplained wealth) legislation and the author of the 2021 book Illicit Enrichment: A Guide to Laws Targeting Unexplained Wealth, published in open-access format in English, French and Spanish. Andrew was admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2012 and has lived and worked both in Switzerland and in Tanzania, where he provided hands-on mentoring to practitioners at the country's primary anti-corruption agency.

Dr. Vanya Petrova

Senior Analyst, Economic Program, Center for Study of Democracy, Sofia

Before joining the CSD at the beginning of 2022, Vanya Petrova was a Research Associate at Fudan University, where she dedicated herself to applied economics, law, and economics, and international finance. Among the major studies she conducted are natural experiments examining the effects of: staggered legal changes in prostitution laws on sexual crime, human trafficking, and marriage/divorce rates; removal of HIV-travel restrictions in China and other control countries on the spread and transmission routes of sexually-transmitted diseases. Besides, Vanya has been actively engaged in research projects on shadow banking in developing economies; renationalization in China; fintech and welfare; financial inclusion and bank profitability. In addition, she has participated in the organization and hosting of many conferences and seminars (e.g., World Economic Forum-Fudan University; International Monetary Fund talks on fiscal policies, etc.). Furthermore, between 2018-2019, Dr. Petrova served at the World Economic Forum. As a member of the Global Future Council on Financial and Monetary Systems, she contributed by shaping the agenda on financial inclusion, and financial and digital literacy. Moreover, she coordinated the launch and implementation of the Financial Literacy Innovation Challenge— a global competition to encourage fintechs that enhance financial inclusion in innovative ways. Vanya is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network. She graduated with a PhD in Economics from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

Krum Zarkov

Minister of Justice of Bulgaria

Krum Zarkov holds a degree in international law and law of international organizations from Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne University, as well as a diploma of completion from the Paris Institute of Political Studies. From 2007 to 2010 he worked as a researcher at Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne. In 2010 he joined the Commission for Establishing of Property Acquired from Criminal Activity. Since 2010, he has been an inspector-lawyer at the Commission for the Establishment of Assets Acquired from Criminal Activity. In 2017, Krum Zarkov was elected Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group, and became in 2019 Vice-Chairman of the "Legal Affairs Committee". He was also a member of the "Commission on Interaction with Non-Governmental Organizations and Citizen Complaints" and the main representative in the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as well as head of Delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of Francophonie. In July 2021, Krum Zarkov was elected as a national representative from the BSP list for Bulgaria and became Vice-Chairman of the "Commission on Constitutional and Legal Issues" and a member of the "Commission for the Direct Participation of Citizens and Interaction with Civil Society". He was also working as Deputy Head of Delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. On August 2022, Krum Zarkov was appointed Minister of Justice.

Dr. Alexander Gerganov

Director, Sociological Program, Center for Study of Democracy

Dr. Gerganov’s main fields of specialization are corruption research, victimization studies (conventional crime), and grey economy. He focuses on methodology, statistical analysis in social research, and mathematical modeling of big data and complex processes in the social sciences. He has participated in many multidisciplinary international research projects since 2005 and has been a part of CSD and Vitosha Research agency since 2009. He has contributed to the update and implementation of the Corruption Monitoring System, the Conventional crime indicators, the Grey economy indicators, and to the development of MACPI – an innovative instrument for monitoring and assessment of anti-corruption policies. He was responsible for data quality, and methodological control for the 2014 and 2016 SELDI corruption surveys, conducted in nine counties. Alexander Gerganov is also an assistant professor at the Social Survey Research Center, part of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Aleksandar Gerganov defended his Ph.D. in psychology (cognitive science) at the New Bulgarian University, after successfully obtaining a MA in cognitive science at the same University.

Ksenija Mitrović

Head, Education, Anti-Corruption Plans and Strategy Sector, Agency for Prevention of Corruption of Serbia

Ms Mitrovic has more than ten years of professional experience in the field of corruption prevention and public administration reform with focus on strengthening of institutional integrity, development and implementation of training programs on ethics and integrity in public administration and risk assessment in the context of local anti-corruption plans. She was responsible for overall cooperation between the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and civil society organizations including oversight of the numerous projects with CSOs. In addition, she participated in the Working Group for drafting the Strategy for Creating an Enabling Environment for the Development of Civil Society in the Republic of Serbia. She contributed to the realization of the Action Plan for Chapter 23 (corruption prevention activities) through drafting of the Report on impact assessment of strategic documents in the fight against corruption regarding local self-government, as well as different reports related to implementation of the local anti-corruption plans. During her career she was lecturer and presenter at different roundtables, conferences and expert panels. Ms Mitrovic holds bachelor’s degree (Master equivalent) in Psychology from University of Belgrade and is accredited trainer in the field of corruption prevention in the National Academy for Public Administration.

Danka Andonovski

City Councillor for Investments and Project Management, City of Kragujevac

Danka Andonovski is the City Council member for Investments and Project Management. For the last nineteen years, she has been working at The Serbian Railways public company, presently - The Infrastructure of Serbian Railways JSC. Within this company, she previously worked as the Head of the Director General’s Office, the International Affairs Centre director, and the Adviser to CEO for International Affairs. She participated in the implementation of projects funded by the EU pre-accession assistance funds, of which she led and successfully implemented two projects. As a scholarship holder of the People's Republic of China Embassy in Belgrade, she completed the international protocol training at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing in 2011. In 2014, she was appointed a member of the national team for cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the People’s Republic of China on infrastructure projects. She has participated in numerous seminars and trainings related to the field of restructuring. Danka Andonovski joined the City of Kragujevac team in March 2022 to lead all major investment projects, considering this appointment as a great challenge and a huge honor. She is married and has two children.

Aleksandar Đorđević

National Programme Officer, UNODC, Belgrade

Mr. Aleksandar Djordjevic is a lawyer with a technical background in anti-corruption, asset recovery and public procurement. Mr. Djordjevic is engaged as a UNODC Program Officer supporting the implementation of the asset recovery and anti-corruption portfolio of UNODC in the Western Balkans and the implementation of the Regional Anti-Corruption and Illicit Finance Roadmap. He started his career as a Legal advisor to the Public Procurement Office of Serbia. In 2019, he joined the Government Accountability Initiative at USAID in Serbia as a legal specialist where he was providing technical assistance to the specialized anti-corruption court units and public prosecutors’ offices to support the implementation of the Law on Organization and Jurisdictions of State Bodies in Fight Against Organized Crime, Corruption and Financing of Terrorism, and assisting in streamlining adjudication of corruption cases. He holds a Master’s degree in Law from the Faculty of Law (Thesis: Whistleblower protection), University of Belgrade. He also holds CFE credentials from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and certification as a Public Procurement expert from the Vienna University Executive Academy.

Andrija Mladenović

Project Manager, European Policy Centre - CEP, Belgrade

Since 2020, Mr. Mladenović has been working as a project manager at the European Policy Centre (CEP) in Belgrade. He has experience with the EU and multiple other international donors and leading project implementation processes in the area of good governance, sustainable development, and human rights. Before joining CEP, he worked at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) for three years on leading multiple regional initiatives and specialised in creating very demanding project proposals. Mr. Mladenović holds a Master's degree in Political Science with specialisation in Political and Social Theory from the Central European University (CEU). Currently, he is a PhD candidate in political science at the Faculty of Political Science, University in Belgrade. As a researcher, he has experience in research interventions in different areas of political science - international relations, national identities and democratisation processes, good governance, and political and intellectual elites of the Western Balkan region.

Dirk Lorenz

Head, Political Section, European Union Delegation to Serbia

Dirk Lorenz joined the European Commission in 2008 for a year and a half before integrating the European External Action Service. He was attached to the EU Delegation to Moldova and Armenia before coming back to Brussels to work as Deputy Head of Division for the Eastern Partnership countries. Since 2020, he has been attached to the EU Delegation to Serbia. Dirk Lorenz has almost 20 years of professional experience in foreign affairs, law & research. He possessed a profound knowledge of the EU Institutions, Eastern Europe & Western Balkans.

Milena Jenovai

Project Manager, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, U.S. Agency for International Development, Belgrade

Milena Jenovai graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Belgrade and integrated the US Department of Homeland Security in 2005. Since 2011, she has been working as a project manager at the US Agency for International Development in Belgrade.

Kateryna Ryzhenko

Deputy Executive Director for Legal Affairs, Transparency International Ukraine

Kateryna Ryzhenko graduated with a Master’s degree in international law from the University of Kyiv in 2011 and from the University of Oslo in 2013. She joined Transparency International Ukraine in 2016 and became Deputy Executive Director for Legal Affairs in 2021. Since 2019, she has also been working as Co-head of the Selection Committee for the Head of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption.

Olena Kupina

Lawyer-Analyst, Institute of Legislative Ideas, Ukraine

Ambassador Gudrun Steinacker

Vice President, South East Europe Association

In 1978 Gudrun Steinacker joined the German Foreign Service and was initially used from 1980 to 1982 after completing the career test Federal Foreign Office in Bonn and then at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany at the United Nations in New York before she was back in the Federal Foreign Office from 1983 to 1985. Between 1985 and 1995, Gudrun Steinacker was attached to the Consulate General in Zagreb, to the Permanent Representation at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as well as to the embassy in Norway. After working again in the Federal Foreign Office from 1995 to 2000, she worked at the secretariat of the OSCE in Vienna as a training coordinator, at the embassy in Italy, the embassy in Russia, and as a permanent representative of the ambassador of Bulgaria, during which time she was also a member of the church board of the German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran parish in Sofia. From September 2009 to August 2011 she was consul general in Novosibirsk (Russia). From 2011 to 2014, Gudrun Steinacker became the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Northern Macedonia before succeeding Pius Fischer as Ambassador to Montenegro. Podgorica was her last position as an active diplomat. Even after her retirement, she became involved in the Balkans. She is one of the vice presidents of the German Southeast European company, who received in 2017 the EuroNatur Price for her struggle to maintain the natural area Saline Ulcinj in Montenegro and is currently the program director of the Western Balkans International Diplomatic Training Course of the Federal Foreign Office.

Daniel Freund

Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/Europe Free Alliance

Daniel Freund graduated with a master's degree in public affairs from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, and during his studies there he also studied at the Elliott School of George Washington University. After working as an intern at Germany's Federal Foreign Office and the EU Delegation in Hong Kong and as a consultant for Deloitte, Freund worked in the office of MEP Gerald Häfner in Brussels from 2013 to 2014. From July 2014 to May 2019, he worked for Transparency International’s Brussels office, where he was head of advocacy for EU integrity. Daniel Freund has been working on the establishment of an independent ethics body to track and sanction conflicts of interests in all EU institutions. On 16 September 2021, the European Parliament adopted the report on "Improving transparency and integrity in the EU institutions through the establishment of an independent EU ethics body". This proposal by Daniel Freund in his role of rapporteur passed by 377 to 87 votes. In addition to his committee assignments, he is part of the parliament's delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee. He co-chairs the European Parliament Intergroup on Anti-Corruption and is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights. Since 2021, he has also been chairing the Spinelli Group.