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Turkey and Western Balkans: National Integrity Systems

This project is now complete

This project is now complete but similar work continues on our Ending impunity for grand corruption in the Western Balkans and Turkey project.

What's at stake?

Countries aspiring to join the European Union − often referred to as Enlargement or Accession countries − need to establish functioning core institutions for safeguarding democracy and the rule of law. Creating an effective system for fighting organised crime and corruption is considered fundamental for attaining these objectives, in order to counter the criminal infiltration of political, legal and economic systems.

Despite some reform efforts, corruption remains a major concern in EU accession countries, and its detrimental effects are felt by ordinary citizens. According to Transparency our Global Corruption Barometer 2013, the majority of people across the Western Balkans think that corruption increased in the past two years. In particular, corruption levels are perceived to be especially high in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Albania, with 65 and 66 per cent respectively of those surveyed thinking that corruption has increased.

What we're doing about it

The EU accession process has been the major driver of anti-corruption efforts in EU enlargement countries, and the governments of these countries (Turkey and the Western Balkans) have made efforts to curb corruption. While some progress has been made in adopting anti-corruption laws, these efforts have not yet led to the desired results and impact.

Moreover, these anti-corruption efforts often only target specific sectors, and therefore lack a systemic approach to tackling corruption. This has highlighted the importance, need and value of a holistic approach in assessing integrity mechanisms and institutions across all sectors of society.

Transparency International is undertaking a three-year project which combines high-quality research with evidence-based advocacy on key anti-corruption areas.National Integrity System assessments will be carried out to provide detailed assessments of corruption risks and to identify priorities for action in order to advance anti-corruption reforms in the countries. Following these comprehensive assessments, an innovative tracking methodology will be used to follow progress on national anti-corruption efforts and to compare progress throughout the region.

Our approach

Through conducting in-depth, consultative research at the national level, our National Integrity System assessments undertaken in the EU accession countries of Turkey and the Western Balkans provide a systematic evaluation of the performance and corruption risks of a full range of national institutions and actors. The assessments will also put forth recommendations for future anti-corruption reforms and strengthening of mechanisms to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability across all sectors of society.

National and regional thematic workshops on various areas of anti-corruption, combined with awareness-raising and public outreach activities on the national level will be used by project partners to build on the research findings as well as for advocating for change towards comprehensive anti-corruption reforms. Our research and workshops will address the sectors that are especially prone to corruption risks.

The research and subsequent regional thematic workshops will allow identification of good practices of institutional approaches for fighting corruption and safeguarding integrity, creating opportunities across countries for learning and experience exchange. The national research, which will allow for comparison across countries, will also feed into a regional report.