SELDI Regional Conference on Good Governance and Anti-corruption Policy Challenges

On 13 – 14 November 2014 in Tirana, Albania, the Southeast Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) network, in cooperation with the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI), the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Ministry of State on Local Issues of Albania co-organized the Regional Conference on Good Governance and Anti-corruption Policy Challenges. The first day was dedicated to Monitoring Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Southeast Europe: Policy Challenges and the Role of Civil Society. The second day focused on Preventing Corruption by Assessing its Risks.

Day 1:  Monitoring Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Southeast Europe: Policy Challenges and the Role of Civil Society

Given the major significance of the corruption issue in the SEE region, the conference contributed to promoting the civil society – state dialogue in identifying effective counter-measures. The countries from the region of Southeast Europe (SEE) discussed the main findings and lessons learnt from analyzing the corruption manifestations and applied national anti-corruption policies. SELDI presented its Regional Anti-corruption Report, which by summarizing the conclusions from the national analyses and the data from the sociological surveys carried out in nine countries, provides an assessment of the regional anticorruption developments in SEE.

Dr. Zef Preci, Executive Director at the Albanian Center for Economic Research (ACER) welcomed the participants and acknowledged the effort and dedication of the SELDI network during the past two years. In that period the SELDI coalition succeeded in increasing the capacity of the civil society sector for monitoring the corruption dynamics and anticorruption developments in the SEE region. The results and findings of the in-depth research and thorough analysis are included in the report Anti-Corruption Reloaded: Assessment of Southeast Europe. Mr. Preci highlighted the contribution of the Albanian government, which through its political will endorsed the initiative. Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, SELDI Coordinator and Director of the Economic Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Bulgaria provided a brief historical overview of the SELDI developments in the past decade, in particular highlighting the evolution of the civil society sector and its impact in the anticorruption domain on both national and regional levels.

Mr. Bledar Çuçi, Minister of State on Local Issues and National Coordinator on Anti-corruption, Albania, gave a keynote address to the participants, acknowledging the fact the countries from Southeast Europe share many similarities and are often being challenged by common issues. In this context the regional perspective, advocated and implemented by the SELDI network, is a step towards ensuring sustainable long term results in the fight against corruption. In a discussion on the Albanian institutional developments in the anticorruption domain, Minister Çuçi assured the participants of the serious intent of the Albanian institutions to curb corruption through a new, open to civil society collaboration and efficient government, focused on reducing the opportunities for corruption. Supporting of these claims are the 2014-2017 Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan, based on a sustainable partnerships with CSOs, as well as the numerous legislative amendments, with a view of increased transparency and improving overall governance.

Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, Head of the European Union Delegation to Albania, highlighted the fact that strengtening the rule of law is a crucial element in the enlargement process. The fight against corruption remains a key issue on multiple levels, as it hampers the most fundamental rights of citizens and is of extreme cost, both economically and socially. Therefore, persistence is essential not only for SEE countries but also for EU28, as close to EUR 120 billion are estimated to be lost to corruption in the European Union. Ambassador Vlahutin outlined the key principles for solid anti-corruption policies, which are non-negitiationable in the enlargement process. These, among others, include strong political will and comprehensive legal framework; sufficient resources for law enforcement bodies; clear and transparent rules of party financing; public intolerance to corruption. The sought concrete and measurable results, on the other hand, can only be demonstrated by sufficient track record of prosecution and sentences on all levels. CSOs have important role as part of this process, which should lead to sustainable uniform solution.

The first panel of the conference focused on the corruption and anticorruption challenges for Southeast Europe for the 2014-2020 period. Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, SELDI Coordinator and Director of the Economic Program at CSD, presented the Regional Anti-Corruption Report. The report` s assessment of the SEE region utilizes a pool of knowledge and expertise provided by local civil society organizations, combined with an evaluation of the of the corruption dynamic in the region, based on the internationally recognized Corruption Monitoring System (CMS). Corruption pressure remains a vital indicator in terms of reasoning why people involve in corruption. Acceptability of corruption, on the other hand, is also important. According to the Regional Anti-Corruption Report, high levels of awareness of corruption are present in all SEE countries, while the assessment of the environment clearly depict very low levels of trust. CSOs remain key stakeholders in the anticorruption domain, while the financial aid and peer pressure, as part of the international cooperation continue to be indispensable factor in the region`s anticorruption developments.

The activities of the SELDI coalition are based on the three major pillars of awareness, monitoring and advocacy. In this context, Mr. Stefanov outlined the three critical recommendations of the report Anti-Corruption Reloaded: Assessment of Southeast Europe:

  • Deliver an effective prosecution of high-level corruption – sentencing of corrupt top echelon public officials and politicians provides a strong incentive and has proven very effective in strengthening anticorruption measures.
  • Adopt an independent corruption and anti-corruption monitoring mechanism – instruments should be implemented through national and/or regional civil society network(s), and be independent of direct national government funding. Such initiatives should serve as a vehicle for opening up administrative data collection and public access to information.
  • Anti-corruption efforts should be focused on critical sectors – including energy, public procurement, corporate governance of state owned enterprises, large-scale investment projects.

Endorsing the presented report, Ms. Sabine Zwaenepoel, Senior Rule of Law Coordinator, Strategy and Policy Unit, DG Enlargement, European Commission, discussed the effect of the enlargement process on facilitating the rule of law. The Union`s stand on corruption has been strengthened in the past years through key strategy papers on the new approach to rule of law, the enhancement of the economic governance and on the support for public administration and democratic institutions.  The adoption of the EU Anticorruption Report and other political and financial tools for strengthening the rule of law and for promoting the fight against corruption have also been strongly highlighted by the European Union. In addition, Ms. Zwaenepoel discussed the new approach to enlargement negotiations, positioning the rule of law and the fight against corruption at the heart of the accession prospects. Based on lessons learned from past negotiations, as well as from the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) experience, the new methodology moves away from predominantly tracking legislation transposition to focus on tangible results. She stressed the key role of CSOs in shaping national anticorruption agendas, monitoring implementation of strategies and action plans with focus on deliverables and in raising awareness on the costs and damages of corruption in any society. She committed to taking the report and its valuable recommendations to Brussels.

Mr. Kiro Cvetkov, Anti-corruption Expert, Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) presented the work and future goals of the organization for the SEE region. RAI`s working program for 2014-2015 includes eight objectives, among which are competitive public procurement, public awareness, capacity building, asset recovery and disclosure, conflict of interest, etc. Potential cooperation with civil society is envisioned in most of the objectives, while the latter are further reinforced with the development of two distinctive methodologies on corruption risk assessment.

Ms. Jonida Narazani, Research Fellow at ACER presented the national results of the Albanian Corruption Assessment Report (CAR). The current corruption environment in the country remains a major challenge, as citizens see it as a critical barrier to social and economic prosperity. Despite important legal developments and demonstration of political will in the recent years, Albania continues to witness ineffective law enforcement with limited number of high level corruption sentences.

The second and third panels continued the discussion on the 2014 National Corruption Assessment Reports of the SEE countries. Ms. Leila Bičakčić, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN), Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) quoted the latest EC Progress Report, stating that the country has made little progress in advancing reforms to reduce corruption, which remains most acute in the areas of service delivery and access to employment. Meanwhile, there is little political will to move beyond rhetoric. The country`s national CAR shows that the awareness of corruption is extremely high with the perception of corruption spreading to all spheres of society. Discussing the policy and regulatory landscape developments, Ms. Bičakčić highlighted the importance of an effective conflicts of interest legislation. Issues with regard to funding of political parties are challenged in terms of transparency, while the lack of effective criminal justice policy and adequate sanctions for corruption further impact the overall anticorruption environment.

Ms. Daniela Mineva, Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy, presented the CMS data for Bulgaria. The country continues to sustain high levels of corruption, despite being an EU member state for over 7 years. The CMS data shows that the majority of the corruption transactions have been initiated by the public administration. Similar to other countries, corruption is considered an effective tool for solving personal problems. The scale is so complex that the capacity of the law enforcement is limited. The enforcement itself is often captured by policy or private economic interests.

Mr. Premton Hyseni, Advanced Researcher, INSTITUTI RIINVEST discussed the corruption and anticorruption developments in the context of Kosovo. The country has been successful in developing sufficient legislation including the Strategy and Action Plan for 2012-2016. Kosovo has also progressed in terms of its institutional anticorruption setting, though lack of coordination among the relevant public bodies is a cause for concern. Issues related to independency of the judiciary and the CSO sector are additional hinder to effective anticorruption effort.

Mr. Borjan Gjuzelov, Expert, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) focused on the findings of the Macedonian CAR. Pushed down by socio-economic problems, corruption is not recognized among the top challenges. Macedonian citizens consider the commonly known social phenomenon to be a mainly institutional problem, not cultural. Since 2002, the country`s acceptability of corruption increased, together with corruption pressure. On the other hand, susceptibility, spread and practical efficiency have seen a decline. Macedonia shares the characteristics of the majority of the SEE countries where relatively solid legal framework is being challenged by the practical implementation and tangible results in the fight against corruption. Mr. Gjuzelov recommended that the policy should focus on political commitment, prosecution of high-level corruption cases, sector-specific anticorruption efforts, more independent judiciary and civil society, as well effective anticorruption monitoring carried out by civil society.

Ms. Milica Kovačević, Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), Montenegro described the country`s progress related to anticorruption as limited due to overall inefficient legislative and institutional framework and considerable delays in the adoption of key national laws. Limited tangible impact, as a result of weak track record of investigations, prosecution and convictions is an additional indicator for the existing challenges. The civil society sector in Montenegro is active and motivated but financial uncertainties often destabilize the sector. Sustainability is additional issue as the majority of the non-governmental organizations are donor driven.

Ms. Marija Djordjević, Researcher at the Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS), presented the findings for Serbia. According to the national CMS data, Serbian citizens consider corruption as a major challenge. Most of the relevant regulatory framework and institutional settings are in place, including adopted laws on party financing and conflict of interest. Expectations are being put into the recently adopted in 2013 Anticorruption Strategy and Action Plan, as well as into the proclamation of the newly elected government, which has put anticorruption effort at the top of the political agenda. Although allegations of strictly political motivation exist, four former ministers and several leading businessmen have already been indicted in Serbia.

Mr. Munir Podumljak, Executive Director of Partnership for Social Development (PSD), discussed the corruption and anticorruption landscape of Croatia. According to him, what citizens see as a corruption is not the official definition but all behavior which deviates from the universal values of any society. Mr. Podumljak noted that Croatia has managed to substantially increase the number of sentences in high level office. He also highlighted the fact that bribery is only a type of corruption activity and its levels depend on national circumstances. Therefore, every country should design anticorruption policies according to its local specifics and should target particular corruption challenge. As a best practice, Mr. Podumljak described the infrastructure of the Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organized Crime. The institution is however solely focused on material gain, which would be very effective in tackling bribery but not corruption activities, such as conflict of interest and nepotism. He recommended that integrity systems, particularly targeting conflicts of interests, with investigative and prosecutorial powers are designed in the countries of the SEE region. The CSO sector, on the other hand, should aim at building capacity specifically tailored for the particular national environment.

Ms. Ayse Ustunel Yircali,  Executive Director, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) presented the corruption environment in Turkey, which though on different scale, possesses many of the region`s characteristics. Ms. Yircali discussed the 2010-14 National Anti-Corruption Strategy, focused on prevention, sanctions and awareness raising, as the major anticorruption tool in the country. Serious legislative gaps are however evident, specifically in terms of transparency, access to information, protection of whistleblowers and conflict of interest.

The fourth panel presented a round table discussion on the way forward, with a special focus on the public-private partnership in tackling corruption in SEE. Mr. Zoran Jačev, Vođa Projekta, “Podrška antikorupciji”, Bosnia and Herzegovina, presented a project providing technical assistance to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Anticorruption Agency. It proved as an example of the fact that, similarly to every anticorruption project, challenges along implementation are evident. Mr. Jačev assured that the SELDI regional anticorruption report is being published at the right time for the country, as the adoption of the BiH Strategy and Action Plan is pending. The report has already been recommended and introduced to the Agency. Mr. Jačev also highlighted the of the civil society sector as a supplement, a catalyst and a source of external pressure.

Ms. Ilina Mangova, Researcher at the Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis – Skopje (IDSCS), Macedonia gave an example of the trend that the anticorruption topic becomes the highlight of the day on two distinct occasions. One is when a new governments take office and use the occasion to demonstrate power or when a country is closing on EU accession, as part of the negotiation procedures. According to Ms Mangova the job of the civil society actors is to keep these issues constantly at the top of the social and political agenda. As a conclusion, she once again stressed the need for and the value of independent corruption and anticorruption monitoring mechanisms.

During the final discussion, the participants underlined the role of the civil society, which should be seen as much more than a tool for awareness raising. Instead CSOs should be considered a pool of experience and knowledge, a driving force for anticorruption action. The participants discussed various types of mechanisms for state-CSO dialogue and cooperation, examples of good practices and specific experiences from Albania, Serbia and Romania. They noted that bridging media organizations and CSOs could be additional approach for achieving greater impact.

Day 2: Preventing Corruption by Assessing its Risks

The second day of the forum was targeted at boosting countries’ efforts for corruption risks identification and mitigation in decision making process. The Conference recommended for use the developed by RAI and RCC Methodology on Anti-corruption Risk Assessment of Laws, adopted the 10 Ten Principles of Effective Corruption Proofing as an international standard in this field and recommended corruption risk assessment as a corruption preventive tool. For more information, please see Recommendations of the Regional Conference Preventing Corruption by Assessing Its Risks.

Ms. Eridana Çano, Director of Cabinet, Ministry of State on Local Issues, Albania, opened the event by underlining that the Office of the National Coordinator on Anti-Corruption is working with international partners and will use the best practices to tackle the corruption in the country. She expressed her support to the preventive measures, as well as her hope that the corruption proofing and corruption risk assessment becomes a systematically applied effort in all institutions.

Mr. Sokol Gjoka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Albania, underlined that CACP is the most important anti-corruption initiative in Albania. In its framework, the Ministry will become a coordination point for more than forty activities. Mr. Gjoka concluded his speech by noting the importance of the conference for providing forum for exchange of ideas on tackling the problem.

Mr. Gazmend Turdiu, Deputy Secretary General, Regional Cooperation Council, highlighted the efforts that the Council has undertaken and their positive effects, but warned that the situation in SEE has been worsened by the economic crisis. These developments made RCC update and finalise its Strategy with a focus on job creation, unemployment, and sustainable growth, similar to the SEE 2020 Strategy. Mr. Turdiu underlined that the fight against corruption has a center place in their Strategy, as it is essential for the economic growth and development. According to him, although the legal framework is important, a key prerequisite for the success of any anti-corruption policy consists of the closer collaboration between government, agencies, law enforcement and the civil society.

Mr. Davor Dubravica, Chairperson of the Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) recalled the Joint declaration of the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the SEECP participating states from Bucharest, May 2014, in particular the pledge to foster the stronger regional frameworks for tackling corruption , as well as to allocate adequate resources for implementing efficient preventive mechanisms and programs, as well as proactive measures to enhance institutional transparency and good governance. He warned that laws can also be a source of corruption, and advised all countries to use the Methodology presented by RAI at the event, which was endorsed also at the Workshop in Becici, Montenegro.

Panel 1: Anti-corruption Assessment of Laws, moderated by Mr. Davor Dubravica, RAI Chairperson

Mr. Radu Cotici, Head of Secretariat, Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) presented the concept of corruption proofing of laws and how effective it could be to prevent corruption. He provided examples on how inconsistent, unclear or contradictory texts of legislation may breed corruption. He expressed interest in learning more about the experience of Lithuania and Moldova, where the corruption proofing tool has been used for almost a decade. He underlined that the Methodology will work only when properly set up as a mechanism, when authorities take a serious approach in carrying it out and civil society stakeholders are involved and enabled to contribute to the review. For that reason RAI has developed its Methodology, as well as the ten principles of effective corruption proofing, that RAI calls to be approved as an international standard in this field.

Dr. Tilman Hoppe, anti-corruption expert, presented a comparative analysis of the anti-corruption assessment of laws in different countries. He noted that little literature and information is available on the subject, which points out to the need of the further development and adaptation of the Methodology. Some of the countries that apply similar methodology include Russia, South Korea, Lithuania, Moldova, and Albania. Mongolia, Poland, Serbia and Turkmenistan are expected to adopt the corruption proofing soon. Dr. Hoppe underlined that although corruption proofing takes resources, it is still necessary. It should be done not only formally, but with the aim of increasing the impact of the law and its compliance.

Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, SELDI Coordinator, noted that the corruption proofing of legislation is an instrument that allows civil society an additional venue to influence policy. This is of particular importance since the civil society has as key mission to be a watchdog and monitor the public policies. He underlined that more attention should be paid to the capacity of the bodies that should implement corruption proofing. According to him, the countries in the region need to achieve impact on the highest corruption levels and tackle the issue of state capture, which is in essence use of the legislative process to serve personal interests. Mr. Stefanov prompted the countries to apply these principles first to the existing legislation, and then proceed with the new ones. He advised that similar Methodology can also be used to enhance the regulatory impact assessment.

Panel 2: Anti-corruption Assessment of Laws: best practices, moderated by Ms. Eridana Çano, Director of Cabinet, Ministry of State on Local Issues, Albania

Ms. Solėja Karalienė, Chief Specialist, Special Investigation Service, Republic of Lithuania (STT) shared her experience with anti-corruption assessment of legislation in Lithuania, implemented by a team of five people. She explained that though parliamentary group, Commission, parliamentary committee or the President, Chairman of the Seimas or Prime Minister or STT itself can initiate anti-corruption assessment of legal acts, this could leave some important legislation without a corruption evaluation. She warned that despite all good practices, one cannot believe that an assessment will eliminate all corruption factors.

Ms. Cristina Tarna, Deputy Director, National Anti-Corruption Center, Republic of Moldova stressed that there is a need of stronger corruption proofing mechanisms when an official can use interpretation of the law for own interest or gain. She explained that the corruption proofing process in Moldova was inspired and launched by CSOs in June 2006, and it was later adopted as government decision. It covers all laws and draft laws, except policy and singular use documents. The National Anti-corruption Center is in charge of the proofing implementation, starting from the moment a draft law is finalized. A law can be remedied even after it has been passed. Among the corruption risks assessed are: legal wording, legal coherence, transparency and access to information, exercising individual rights, etc. Currently there are 600 corruption proofing reports produced per year in Moldova, which rely on the help from all stakeholders, including CSOs. Ms Tarna noted that according to her experience there are two key specifics of approving draft laws promoting private interests – urgency for adoption and lack of transparency. In that respect the corruption proofing is the key in securing quality law drafting in the public interest.

Dr. Tilman Hoppe, anti-corruption expert presented RAI’s Regional Methodology on Anti-corruption Assessment of Laws. His speech focused on what are the risks and how to identify them in a legislative text. He made a distinction between corruption of the legislative process and the involuntary discrepancies made in the text that present corruption risk. He expressed hope that the ten principles and the corruption proofing methodology will be adopted in all SEE countries.

Panel 3. Corruption risk assessment, moderated by Ms. Cristina Tarna, Deputy Director, National Anti-corruption Centre, Republic of Moldova

Mr. Quentin Reed, anti-corruption expert noted that international standards for an ideal corruption risk assessment methodology are good for inspiration, but still not sufficient. He warned that the same solutions cannot work in the same way everywhere. In that respect, he recommended that the countries look at local problems, find local reasons and find local solutions. Rudeness, arbitrary treatment, obstruction are also factors that go hand in hand with corruption and should be taken into account in any corruption assessment methodology. Among the risk assessment methods that Mr. Reed presented were: use of existing materials, law and regulations, direct observation, proxies, surveys, interviews.

Mr. Mihai Barlici, Head of Anti-corruption Studies and Prognosis Unit, Anti-corruption General Directorate, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania presented the methodology, results and efficiency of the self-assessment used by government bodies. As main vulnerabilities he listed the sectors with frequent contact with the public, financial management, public procurement. He presented the good practices in Romania, including formation of corruption prevention working groups, trained in recognising corruption risks. The Unit is trying to evaluate what the potential impact of certain corruption risk would be, including financial impact, public image impact, human resources impact, etc. A new activity for the Romanian Ministry of Interior was the deterrence of the risk, in which it is currently involved.

Mr. Matjaž Mešnjak, Adviser on Prevention and Public Integrity, Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, Republic of Slovenia underlined that Slovenia performs corruption risk assessment almost every day as part of the existing integrity plans, sectoral analyses, and corruption investigations. The key instrument, the Integrity plans, include a matrix of risk factors, existing measures, as well as foreseen measures. The information is stored in a register, which soon will present all current corruption risk and measures in real time, and will allow for statistical and qualitative analysis. Results will be shared among the concerned entities, so that counter-measures can be undertaken. The Commission educated several thousand public sector employees in the last four years, built the e-register, revised integrity plans. It faced as challenges the constantly changing list of public institutions, and the hardships of convincing public sector managers that corruption risk assessment is important issue and that integrity plans should be used.

Ms. Marijana Obradović, Assistant Director of Prevention Sector, Anti-corruption Agency, Republic of Serbia presented Serbia’s experience on the topic. The Law of the Anti-corruption Agency stipulates that all government bodies should develop anti-corruption plans and report on the implementation of these plans to the Agency. The Agency published guidelines for the implementation of the integrity plans in October 2010. These guidelines however proved to be insufficient, and task groups specific for each institution were formed, in parallel with the development of special software. Since there were no sanctions for not adopting the plans, many institutions decided not to do so. In that context the policies applied and the quality of the integrity plans depended on the understanding of the problem by the management of the government institution, as well as on the existence of external assistance provided by CSOs.

Mr. Milos Mojsilovic, Senior Adviser within the Research and Development Unit, Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency complemented the review of the Serbian experience. He explained that the Agency’s staff went and spent some time in each institution to see how it works and if the integrity plan reflects objectively how the institution is functioning. Another issue besides the efficient implementation of the integrity plans is the fact that in Serbia there is no law on whistle-blower protection, and the Agency is trying to provide internal solutions. In 2015 the Agency will monitor the implementation of the integrity plans and further promote the good practices and solutions.

Panel 4. Corruption risk assessment (continuation), moderated by Mr. Radu Cotici, Head of RAI Secretariat

Mr. Vasilica-Cristi Danilet, Member of Superior Council of Magistracy, Romania presented the history of corruption investigation in Romania. Until 2006 the Ministry of Justice had its own secret service, used to obtain information even of the private life of the judges, information that could be misused. Before the accession, the EU built pressure on the country for achieving results in fighting corruption. As result, Romania changed its Constitution, built special unit of young and clean prosecutors, trained to fight corruption. It formed the National Anti-corruption Directorate – an independent body. For many years after accession the pressure continued under the CVM. In that context Romania expanded its anti-corruption efforts and introduced objective criteria for appointment of judges, including an exam without influence by any political party. The country also introduced IT system in the courts and currently publishes online various kind of data to increase transparency. They try to maintain dialogue and be close to the citizens in order to raise the corruption awareness. The relevant authorities participate in TV shows, and talk with people through the social media. Romania has 1496 offenders convicted of corruption in the period 2005-2014, including 1 former prime minister and 6 ministers, as well as many judges and prosecutors. Consequently, trust in judiciary increased from 22% in 2005 to 44% in 2014.

Mr. Quentin Reed, ACFA Team Leader talked about corruption risk assessment in Albania and presented the preliminary findings of the ACFA Project. The project mainly focuses on assessment of the anti-corruption framework, including asset declarations, conflict of interest, and providing assistance to the Anti-corruption Action Plan. Mr. Reed noted the problems with data exchange between institutions in Albania that obstruct the efficiency of the applied measures. Their analysis also focused on political party and election campaign, noting the insufficient capacity of the authorities to oversee the issue.

Ms. Liljana Selinšek, anti-corruption expert, presented the different models and approached to corruption risk assessment (CRA). She confirmed the statement that no model can work everywhere, but the existing knowledge of corruption risk assessment is enough to identify a common goal. She stressed that the assessment should target not just corruption, but also integrity risks, and the countries need clear measures to eliminate the sources and the risks of ambiguity behaviours. She noted that freedom of information is essential for preventing corruption. Ms. Selinšek presented the integrity plan, the sectoral CRA, and the ad hoc CRA as three key promising approaches that can complement each other and efficiently decrease the corruption risks. According to her, a mixed system including these approached would be best suited for the region. Thus the mixed system can identify which factors drive corruption in each country and institutions, and assess the effectiveness of existing laws.

Ms. Daniela Mineva, Center for the Study of Democracy, SELDI Secretariat concluded with listing ten recommendations and conclusions from the conference, inviting the countries to consider introducing the presented corruption proofing tool and methodology.

During the closing statements, Mr. Predrag Vujicic, Expert on Justice and Home Affairs, RCC Secretariat underlined that the Council is trying to make the region a better place for living through joining efforts of all stakeholders. He wished the participants success in their efforts in fighting corruption.

Agenda (Adobe PDF, 484 KB)

Press release (Adobe PDF, 2 MB)

Media coverage

Anti-Corruption Reloaded: Assessment of Southeast Europe (Adobe PDF, 6.3 MB)

Anti-Corruption Assessment of Laws (‘Corruption Proofing’): Comparative Study and Methodology (Adobe PDF, 3.9 MB)

Ten Principles of Effective Corruption Proofing (Adobe PDF, 190 KB)

SELDI Policy Brief 2: Good Governance Agenda for Southeast Europe: The Role of Civil Society, National and European Institutions

Presentations from Day 1:

Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, SELDI Coordinator and Director of the Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria (Adobe PDF, 1.34 MB)

Ms. Sabine Zwaenepoel, Senior Rule of Law Coordinator, Strategy and Policy Unit, DG Enlargement, European Commission (Adobe PDF, 1.18 MB)

Mr. Kiro Cvetkov, Anti-corruption Expert, Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) (Adobe PDF, 959 KB) 

Ms. Jonida Narazani, Research Fellow at the Albanian Center for Economic Research (ACER), Albania (Adobe PDF, 990 KB)

Ms. Leila Bičakčić, Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Adobe PDF, 652 KB)

Ms. Daniela Mineva, Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria (Adobe PDF, 1 MB)

Mr. Premton Hyseni, Advanced Researcher, INSTITUTI RIINVEST, Kosovo (Adobe PDF, 700 KB)

Mr. Borjan Gjuzelov, Expert, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC), Macedonia (Adobe PDF, 628 KB)

Ms. Milica Kovačević, Center for Democratic Transition (CDT), Montenegro (Adobe PDF, 348 KB)

Ms. Marija Djordjević, Researcher, Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS), Serbia (Adobe PDF, 778 KB)

Mr. Munir Podumljak, Executive Director, Partnership for Social Development (PSD), Croatia (Adobe PDF, 977 KB)

Ms. Ayse Ustunel Yircali,  Executive Director, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), Turkey (Adobe PDF, 828 KB)

Mr. Zoran Jačev, Vođa Projekta, “Podrška antikorupciji”, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Adobe PDF, 545 KB)

Presentations from Day 2:

Mr. Radu Cotici, Head of Secretariat, Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) (Adobe PDF, 2.8 MB)

Dr. Tilman Hoppe, anti-corruption expert (Adobe PDF, 650 KB)

Ms. Solėja Karalienė, Chief Specialist, Special Investigation Service, Republic of Lithuania (STT) (Adobe PDF, 590 KB)

Ms. Cristina Tarna, Deputy Director, National Anti-Corruption Center, Republic of Moldova (Adobe PDF, 664 KB)

Mr. Quentin Reed, anti-corruption expert (Adobe PDF, 223 KB)

Mr. Mihai Barlici, Head of Anti-corruption Studies and Prognosis Unit, Anti-Corruption General Directorate, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania (Adobe PDF, 2 MB)

Mr. Matjaž Mešnjak, Adviser on Prevention and Public Integrity, Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, Republic of Slovenia (Adobe PDF, 1.2 MB)

Mr. Milos Mojsilovic, Senior Adviser within the Research and Development Unit, Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency (Adobe PDF, 721 KB)

Mr. Vasilica-Cristi Danilet, Member of Superior Council of Magistracy, Romania (Adobe PDF, 332 KB)

Mr. Quentin Reed, ACFA Team Leader (Adobe PDF, 136 KB)

Ms. Liljana Selinšek, anti-corruption expert (Adobe PDF, 212 KB)



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