The principles of good governance continue to face a number of challenges in the region of Southeast Europe. The hesitant and ambiguous reactions to the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine across capitals in South East Europe in the beginning of 2022 have only been the latest reminder of the unfinished democratization and EU integration process in the region, with serious outstanding rule of law gaps. This calls for further efforts to improve governance and tackle corruption and state capture across the region, which requires action at political and technical level by national governments, civil society and EU and international partners. 

The current report aims to provide a deeper understanding of the good governance challenges and pave the way forward for nine countries (SEE‑9)27 – four member states and five aspiring for EU membership (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia). It focuses, in particular, on two main elements of the good governance mix that have been identified as critical impact opportunities during the first year of operation of the Regional Good Governance Public-Private Partnership Platform (R2G4P): 

  • Public procurement integrity: observed irregularities (including due to loosened procurement regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic), and the use of red-flags warning systems;
  • The governance of state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) in the energy sector, including management of financial resources, investment decisions, appointment of board members, and energy-related public procurement.
  • The report is based on information from two state-of-the-art data tools:
  • The Open Tender portal, which provides big data analytics on red flags or irregularities in public procurement across the EU/EEA;
  • The State Capture Assessment Diagnostics, which provides assessment of state capture risks at sectoral level in SEE‑9.

The data from the tools has been complemented by the work of national contributors from the SELDI network and by inputs and feedback from the representatives of the public and civil society sector taking part in the R2G4P Platform.