The Institute for Politics and Society is involved in project with a topic of The Western Balkans Anti-Corruption that started in March 2016.
The project focuses on sharing the V4 countries’ experiences on combating corruption among the Western Balkan countries. The programme objectives include identifying gaps in combating corruption in the Western Balkans, sharing the V4 experiences in the field, and equipping participants with skills and knowledge necessary to improve anticorruption measures in their countries. The program is organized in cooperation with the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (Serbia), Academy of Political Studies (Albania), Atlaszto.hu (Hungary), Prague Diplomatic Academy (Czech Republic), Civil Alliance (Montenegro), Institute for Democracy – “Societas Civilis” (Macedonia) and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (Poland).
The topics include the Panama Papers, money-laundering, how to evaluate corruption risks within the security sector, political parties and the role of media. The forum provides key objectives on how best to combat the corruption risk areas such as transparency, management and operations, human resources management, financial management, internal and external control. The Institute sees this topic as one of the utmost topics because corruption has a detrimental effect upon a country’s economy and a deterrence to an engaged and trusting society.
Corruption can be seen as a hydra where it is now an ever-evolving phenomenon that must be continuously fought on all fronts. For instance, the citizens within Serbia believe that 70% of the police is corrupt, 85% of politicians are corrupt and 16% of the military is too.
This conference is ideal for discussing the impact corruption has on various countries, extending from United States, Visegrad 4 to Western Balkans. The forum allows for the Institute to learn from those who have an expertise within this area and to help contribute by bringing our ideas.
As bought forth by the dialogue within the conference, 23 nations’ highest fines are not damaging enough to offset the financial return on investments in which bribery is involved. Instead, it is seen as a cost to doing business within a sector or within a country. The forum consists of three sections that will take place over a period of 6 months.
The project consists of three parts:
The first series workshops on corruption are organised in Belgrade, Serbia and in cooperation with the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence.
These workshops focus on improving anticorruption measures and raising social awareness. These workshops constitute a forum for exchanging experiences between the V4 experts and participants from the 6 Balkan countries and the Visegrad. The participants will analyse and define the corruption problem in the Balkan countries through a series of lectures and debates. Afterwards, experts from the V4 countries, who have been successful in combating corruption as a part of the transition process, will help find possible solutions. By doing so, the participants will be equipped with the skills essential to combating corruption.
The second part of the series consists of the debates from experts that originate from all of the V4 countries. This event will be held in Poland.
A third part consists of series will consist of 6 open meetings in 6 Balkan cities. The meetings will be held from 21 September to 31 December 2016. The town hall meetings are aim at promoting the outcomes & conclusions of the project, thereby, causing a ripple effect.