On 13 September 2016 the SELDI partner Riinvest Institute presented in Pristina the 2016 Corruption Monitoring System results, and compared the corruption trends and manifestations in Kosovo to those in the other SELDI countries. Among the main points highlighted by Mr. Lumir Abdixhiku, CEO and Ms Enisa Serhati, Researcher at Riinvest Institute were the increased share of Kosovo citizens declaring experience with corruption in 2016 compared to 2014, and the overall high acceptance of corruption as a normal form of operation for the public administration.
Mr. Cezary Michalczuk, the EU Special Representative and Head of EU Kosovo Rule of Law underlined the role of EULEX in the fight against corruption, the abundant funds dedicated to anticorruption projects, as well as the importance of the Stabilization and Association Agreement and the EU Visa Liberalization Roadmap. Ms Sevdije Morina, the Deputy-Chief State Prosecutor, talked about the success of her institutions in filing 56 accusations, nine of which targeting high-level corruption. She explained that prosecution of corruption cases takes a lot of time, and expressed disapproval of the amendments to the law, which decreased the punishment for abuse of office from 8 to 5 years.
Mr. Andrew Russell, the UNDP Coordinator in Kosovo recommended simplification of the public administration and its procedures. He also noted that historically corruption was a survival mechanism. According to him, Kosovo is turning into a microcosm of what is happening in the world, where a country has to choose which one of the two conflicting forces to joint – the force building walls and protectionism or the force working for transparency and collaboration. Mr. Vehbi Kajtazi from Insajderi (a local news portal, famous for publishing wiretaps of high-level politicians) undelined the number of institutions in Kosovo, serving the personal interests of the politicians. In conclusion, Mr. Alban Hashani, Researcher from Riinvest Institute added on the effect of corruption on businesses and the economy. He noted the clash between the short-term gain from corruption in the businesses “to get things done” and the long-term damage to the fair competition and economic growth.