On 12 May 2016 SELDI’s partners, the Albanian Centre for Economic Research (ACER) and House of Europe, in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia presented the results of the SELDI Corruption Monitoring System in Albania 2016, in a policy conference, dedicated to the issue of anticorruption and good governance in South-Eastern Europe. The conference brought together representatives of civil society, public sector and European institutions, to discuss the findings of the survey, implemented for the fourth time in Albania, and the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in the fight against corruption. The conference served to introduce and bring to the attention of relevant stakeholders the main pillars of a future Mobilisation of the Civil Society in a mutual Strategy and Program on Governance and Anticorruption till 2020.
Mr Zef Preci, Executive Director of ACER, welcomed all participants and expressed his pleasure on the noticeable public support for the judicial reform in the country. At the same time he showed concern about the unchanged presence of the corruption phenomenon as an obstacle to democracy, and the wellbeing of citizens. Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Director of the Economic Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy, noted that fighting corruption is a process that needs time. He emphasized that the active participation of citizens penalizes corruption and is one of the best monitoring methods in the region. Ms. Brunilda Kosta, Consultant at the Albanian Center for Economic Research highlighted that the current situation of corruption in Albania has deteriorated compared with 2014, while the cases of bribery have increased with 5%, according to the SELDI Corruption Monitoring System. One in every two Albanians has admitted that bribes were demanded from public officials directly or indirectly. The groups perceived as most corrupted are judges, customs officers, prosecutors, political parties and leaders of the ruling coalition. Despite the actions and reforms undertaken by the government against corruption the citizens’ confidence towards these measures has reached the lowest level in the last 15 years.
The participants noted that:
- Among the factors that affect corruption is the long-time existence of culture of impunity. There is need for integrity enforcement and capacity building. At the moment there is no willingness and engagement to prevent the problem – the corruption net catches are only the ‘’small fishes” and there is a failure when dealing with high-level corruption.
- The decision-making process lacks high participatory levels from the citizens and the civil society, although required for the success of the EU integration. CSOs should be pro-active and pressure the government for greater transparency. CSOs should also improve themselves by increasing transparency, accountability and legitimacy and make the change from competition to cooperation.
- Justice reform is fundamental for the increase of foreign investments and the overall economic development. It is crucial for Albania to approve the justice reform before the summer in order to allow the European Commission to give a positive recommendation on the enlargement package in the autumn.
- In addition, the participants noted that the new Law on Public Information is an improvement, but implementation is unsteady. They also stressed on the importance of an open governance and open data for the prevention of corruption and proposed the use of an open standard in contracts where there is a public body as a party.
- Albanian media plays public relations role of instead of the role of watchdog.
- Deregulation was also suggested as alternative to anti-corruption, taking into account the perception of corruptness of public officials. According to a study by the Foundation for Economic Freedom in an action against informality, it was estimated that the number of tax inspections in businesses were approximately 7-8 visits in two months.
Key speakers at the event were: Mr. Jan Rudolph, Head of Political of Economic and Information Section, Delegation of the European Union to Albania; Mr. Igli Totozani, the Ombudsman of Albania; Ms. Alba Çela, Deputy Director and Senior Researcher of the House of Europe (HoE) Albania; Ms. Luljeta Nano, Secretary General of the Supreme State Audit; Ms. Aranita Brahaj, Executive Director of the Albania Institute of Science; Mr. Gjergj Erebara, BIRN Albania journalist; Mr. Lutfi Dervishi, analyst; Mr. Afrim Krasniqi, Executive Director of Albanian Institute for Political Studies; Mr. Arjan Dyrmishi, Head of CESA, Institute for Democracy and Mediation; Mr. Besart Kadia, Executive Director of Foundation for Economic Freedom; Mrs. Desareta Lameborshi, Responsible of the Sector – Strategic Grants and Regional Development in the Agency for the Support of Civil Society; Mr. Genci Pasko, Resident Adviser of the TACSO Albania Office; Mr. Myftar Doci, Executive Director of ANTTARC; Ms. Ornela Shapo, project manager at GIZ; Mr. Pellumb Kaciqi, philosopher and professor.
Media Advisory (Adobe PDF, 682 KB, in English)
Media Advisory (Adobe PDF, 743 KB, in Albanian)
Press Release (Adobe PDF, 526 KB, in English)
Press Release (Adobe PDF, 511 KB, in Albanian)
Leaflet: Main Findings of the Corruption Monitoring System 2016 (Adobe PDF, 587 KB, in English)
Leaflet: Main Findings of the Corruption Monitoring System 2016 (Adobe PDF, 781 KB, in Albanian)