Political party financing in the Western Balkans

Filed under - Politics and government

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What’s at stake?

Who’s influencing the political arena in your country? How and why are politicians making their decisions? And in whose interest are they acting?

Only when political party financing is transparent can we begin to answer these questions. If donations are made anonymously or under the guise of different actors, citizens are unable to find out whether politicians are acting in the interests of the public or those of corporations and select individuals. Without regulation and enforcement of the rules, big business and the very wealthy can be in a position to exert unfair control over national politics.

By regulating and exposing flows of money in and out of political parties, citizens can expect fairer, more transparent and accountable political systems, and are offered the opportunity to scrutinise political donors.

What we’re doing about it

In the Western Balkans, we’re assessing levels of transparency and accountability in the political finance system. Our assessments will enable Transparency International’s national chapters to carry out targeted advocacy, with the aim of reforming regulations and improving the enforcement of legal frameworks in their countries.

Through such reforms, we hope to see the political classes in these five countries become more transparent and accountable, strengthening the legitimacy and credibility of the democratic institutions in the region.

Who’s involved?

Five Transparency International chapters – from Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia – are participating in the project, with coordination from the Transparency International Secretariat. The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Our approach

The analysis is based on a tool known as Crinis, developed in partnership with the Carter Center. Crinis derives its name from the Latin for ‘ray of light’, as it seeks to expose opaque structures by assessing transparency and accountability in political systems.

Using Crinis, local research teams carry out country assessments that are translated into a narrative analysis, identifying the weaknesses and shortfalls in the current regulatory framework and its practical implementation. The analysis is presented to national decision makers and other relevant actors to promote reform, based on concrete, incentivised proposals for meaningful policy change.

Timeline and results

The project has been running since August 2010 and will finish in July 2013. The first round of research focused on annual party financing, and was finalised in December 2011. National reports and a regional analysis were published on the basis of this research, and are being used in the ongoing advocacy efforts of our national chapters.

National reports

  • Albania – 2011 report: EN
  • Croatia – 2011 report: EN | HR
  • Kosovo – 2011 report: EN
  • Macedonia (FYR) – 2011 report: EN | MK
  • Serbia – 2011 report in EN and SR available here

We are currently in the second research phase, which focuses on the financing of electoral campaigns. The results will be published in the summer of 2013. Watch this space!


Contact us

Helen Turek, Programme Officer, Europe and Central Asia

Country / Territory - Albania   |   Croatia   |   Kosovo   |   Macedonia (FYR)   |   Serbia   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Access to information   |   Accountability   |   Politics and government   
Tags - Campaign finance   |   Electoral reform   |   CRINIS index   |   Western Balkans   |   Crinis   |   Carter Center   

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