SELDI Background Document 1: Major Corruption Challenges in Southeast Europe

In the present document the SELDI network`s partners analysed the current regional environment and the state of corruption in each of their respective countries. The result is a general overview of common, as well as country-specific anti-corruption challenges in the SEE region.

Corruption is continuously ranked among the major challenges faced by the SEE countries. Despite the positive efforts of establishing the regulatory and institutional base for countering corruption, including the establishment of specialised anti-corruption agencies, which are being introduced in the majority of the countries in the region, significant problems persist, especially with regard to the practical implementation of the existing legal framework and institutional enforcement. Though it is hard to generalize in the context of the different national historical and institutional environments in the South-East European countries, several underlying issues seem to characterize the major corruption challenges in the region. Political pressure continues to influence the institutional environment, which is especially problematic with regard to the work of the judicial system and the national anti-corruption agencies. In addition, the latter often lack the necessary institutional capacity. The combination of lack of political will to pursue corruption and limited institutional independence and capacity, often results in the slow implementation of anti-corruption policies. Another related outcome is high-level political corruption, the investigation of which is often hindered by wide-reaching immunity legislation.

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