Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) states that the Progress Report of the European Commission has once again highlighted the systematic shortcomings of institutions in Kosovo in relation to corruption. KDI’s representatives asses that the work of NGOs and the media against corruption in Kosovo is in question by the lack of political will (which is repeated continuously throughout the report).
KDI representative Esat Mazreku said at a press conference that this phenomenon is becoming increasingly worrying, and that it is the politicians’ fault. “This is because they are involved in all institutional processes in the country. The fact that the European Commission, an institution with high influence, believes and assesses that our politicians are the main obstacle to the progress of our state is regretful.” said Mazreku.
According to him, the Report notes that the main concerns revolve around the public sector, procurement, the judiciary, and the rule of law, with rare cases of alleged corruption, because after all, there are no mechanisms of investigation, indictment, prosecution and punishment of those corrupted.
There are other shortcomings, according to Mr Mazreku, noted in the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Kosovo (ACAK) and the courts in prosecuting these cases. According to the Report, ACAK is not dedicated and skilled in implementing the action plan against corruption while the courts are still filled with unresolved cases, with those cases on corruption remaining last in the queue for review.
As for the Prosecution, he added that the Report focussed only on the previous declarations on the corruption cases. On the other hand, public procurement remains the Achilles heel in terms of respect for the Law by senior officials. KDI emphasises that the laws are full of deficiencies and gaps and the capacities of institutions supervising the implementation of procurement legislation have remained incomplete.
Regarding the anti-corruption legislation, Merita Mustafa, KDI representative, said that the Progress Report has also given remarks on the content of three key laws in the fight against corruption that are the Law on financing of political parties, on declaration of assets, and on conflict of interest.
“Meanwhile, according to the European Commission, the declarations of assets by the senior officials have been erratic, a serious concern as it implies high levels of corruption among high-profile politicians. KDI has repeatedly stated that the laws are not a sufficient bases for the transparency of assets of officials. These are precisely the officials who have formally designed this law, undermining the disclosure, control, and verification of assets.” she continued further on.
Another issue that KDI has consistently raised is the funding of political parties. KDI representatives said the Commission determines that the Law on financing of political parties had the same fate, falling prey to calculations of the major political parties to hide the origin of suspicious money. Also the report states that the Law neither regulates nor prohibits the issue of donations by companies participating in public procurement processes.
At the end, Mustafa presented some recommendations that institutions should take in consideration, in order to have more progress in fighting corruption.
- Amendment of the Law on political party financing with specific emphasis on regulating the issue of private donors that participate in public procurement
- Amend the regulation of the issue of verification of assets in the Law on declaration of assets
- Depoliticising public administration with particular emphasis on procurement sector
- Strengthening and increasing the integrity of ACAK
- Politics shall not influence the process of re-appointment of the Judicial Council
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