Tackling corruption: Insights from Transparency International in Western Balkans and Turkey

21 Qershor 2024, 08:58Kosovo & Region TEMA

Tackling corruption: Insights from Transparency International in Western Balkans

June 21, 2024 — A recent report by Transparency International sheds light on varying efforts to combat corruption in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Highlighting both progress and setbacks, the report distinguishes Kosovo, Albania, and North Macedonia for their proactive measures, contrasting with Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia, where anti-corruption initiatives show signs of stagnation or decline.

Titled "Between Anti-Corruption Reform and Decline," the report assesses developments from September 2022 to December 2023. Despite targeted reforms aimed at European Union integration, corruption remains a significant concern across the region and in Turkey.

Critical to the report are issues such as the separation of powers, integrity in the political and public sectors, and the crucial roles of oversight bodies, civil society, and media in combating corruption. However, Turkey's efforts have been overshadowed by consolidating autocratic rule, while Serbia has seen democratic institutions weakened under President Aleksandar Vučić, with electoral irregularities further eroding public trust.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has made strides amid governance complexities, though challenges persist. Montenegro, following a long period dominated by the Democratic Party of Socialists, faces political instability impacting anti-corruption efforts.

Conversely, Kosovo and North Macedonia have emerged as positive examples, showing improvements in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index since 2016. Albania, despite significant judicial reforms such as rigorous vetting processes, has shown limited progress.

The report also highlights executive interference in judicial appointments and patronage networks as major vulnerabilities in the region, contributing to democratic erosion.

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