On 30 January 2015 the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC), in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Democracy presented the key findings of the SELDI Regional Anti-Corruption Report. The event was supported by the SELDI initiative and the USAID anti-corruption program.
Ms Emina Nuredinoska, Head of the Department for Civil Society and Democratization at MCIC welcomed the participants, presented SELDI initiative and underlined that tackling corruption requires the efforts of all stakeholders.
Mr. Barton J. Putney, Chargé d’ Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia noted that “the report confirms that, despite the adequate legal framework, enforcement remains a problem in Macedonia. Much remains to be done in the areas of transparency, integrity, conflict of interests, ethics, and whistle-blowers’ protection. The government must show the necessary political will to support and encourage those who fight for accountability and transparency.”
Mr. Martin Klaucke, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Skopje made an address to the audience by highlighting that “In the past, the EU has launched a number of regional and local projects aimed at combating corruption, and many more are in the process of approval. That means only one thing – that corruption remains a serious problem in this region, and the EU is extending a supporting hand. Tackling corruption requires a broad scope of efforts – it is responsibility not only of the political elite, the police, the anti-corruption institutions and the government agencies, but also of the media, the civil society and the citizens in general. Only when all the major social groups and individuals say “no” to corruption, we can achieve real progress”.
Ms. Daniela Mineva, Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria presented the conclusions and policy recommendations from the Regional Anti-Corruption Report: Anticorruption Reloaded. She commented on the position of Macedonia among the other eight surveyed countries and stressed on the need of a stronger awareness and resilience to corruption in the Macedonian society, as well as enhanced coverage of the issue by the media. According to research, the involvement of officials in corrupt transactions in SEE is very high indicating that administrative corruption is a mass phenomenon. The pressure by corrupt officials is the main factor that affects the levels of corruption involvement. In terms of policy priorities, the report recommends effective prosecution of high-level corruption, use of independent corruption and anti-corruption monitoring mechanisms, and focusing the anti-corruption efforts on the most critical sectors.
Mr. Munir Podumljak, Executive Director Partnership for Social Development, Croatia presented the main corruption challenges in the latest and youngest EU member state. He noted the conflicting expectations related to the EU accession – people in Croatia had high hopes for improvement of the anti-corruption environment after accession, while the EC requires a change before accession. This lead to good statistical performance in various areas, despite the fact that many hidden manifestations of corruption persisted. Despite the fact that Croatia has one of the most advanced institutional settings in prosecuting corruption, investigations focused mostly on bribery, since it is easier to detect and prove, leaving other forms of corruption unpunished. Arrests of high-level politicians presented doubts of the practice of eliminating political competition, rather than achievement of actual efficiency. This developments lead to the current perceptions of the Croatians that the country is performing worse than ever of the first year of EU membership.
For more information visit the MCIC website