Illustration: Amy Chiniara © Transparency International | Source images: Shutterstock

Kosovo Progressed on – But Still Doesn’t Control – Corruption

Kosovo has made progress in its fight against corruption but still does not have it under control, Transparency International’s latest Corruption Index for 2022 found.

Kosovo has made progress in the fight against corruption but does not have this phenomenon under control, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index report of the international Berlin-based watchdog organization Transparency International, TI for 2022.

On a scale from 0 to 100 points, according to TI, Kosovo has scored 41 points in the fight against corruption, and ranks 84th in the list of countries out of some 180 in total. 

Kosovo, the report said, “has made progress with an improved legal framework for political and election campaign finance, but implementation of such reforms will be key in the coming month”, adding: “The government still needs to improve transparency and refrain from any interference in the justice system.”

Justice Minister Albulena Haxhiu welcomed the best TI result ever for Kosovo.

“Our governance with clean hands, without pre-fixed tenders, without nepotism, without interference in the justice system, is reflected in this global index but also in other international reports. 

“We are happy with the global index reports that place Kosovo high. This is an additional motivation for everyone’s commitment to the uncompromising path in the fight against corruption,” Haxhiu wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

However, the report mentions that the recent escalation of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia has increased the security risk in the region and has led to the undermining of cross border cooperation, which is key to a successful fight against organized crime. 

The report also criticized the transparency and accountability of decision-making, including in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, stating that more transparency would create a climate better suited for constructive resolution of the frozen conflict. 

The Democratic Institute of Kosovo think tank told a press conference on Tuesday that to fight corruption as effectively as possible, especially at a high level, the government must guarantee a reform of justice in accordance with international standards and with the best possible coordination with all relevant actors.

It mentioned some of the developments that aided corruption during the past year: cutting the budget for institutions involved in the prevention of corruption, such as the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption; the inefficiency of the judiciary, which continues to manifest itself with a lenient punishments and with the prolongation of the treatment of corruption cases, including the cases known as “Hydropower plants”, “Land”, “Veterans”, “Stenta” and “53 million”.

The rest of the Western Balkans did not change much from last year, TI said, with Albania and North Macedonia marking small improvements and Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina regressing. 

According to the report, the Western Balkans is known for its low resistance to organized crime and states have been slow to address the risk.

The best ranked country in the world was Denmark with 90 points. Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg lead the top ten after Denmark.

*The chart was amended on January 31 to correct the data for Serbia.

and 31/01/2023 - 14:52

31 January 2023 - 14:52

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