TI: Corruption Perceptions Index for 2019 Shows No Change in Serbia’s Position

The latest Transparency International (TI) report published on 23.01.2020 shows that a substantial number of countries had little to no improvement in tackling corruption, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019, which saw Serbia at the same place as in the year before with the index of 39 points out of 100 possible.

Last year, Serbia held 87th position with the same 39 index points. The latest ranking at the 91st place pushed the country in the lower part of the list for the first time.

“Our analysis also suggests that reducing big money in politics and promoting inclusive political decision-making are essential to decrease corruption”, the TI report adds.

It said that in the last year, “anti-corruption movements across the globe gained momentum as millions of people joined together to speak out against corruption in their governments”, adding that “the current state of corruption speaks to a need for greater political integrity in many countries”.

The report suggests that in curbing corruption, the countries should “strengthen checks and balances, limit the influence of big money in politics and ensure broad input in political decision-making.” The CPI evaluates 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to local experts and business people.

Index “100 is very clean, and 0 is highly corrupt. This year, our research underlines the relationship between politics, money and corruption. Unregulated flows of big money in politics also make public policy vulnerable to undue influence.”

The report adds that “countries with stronger enforcement of campaign finance regulations have lower levels of corruption, as measured by the CPI.” That means that countries with comprehensive and systematic finance regulations campaign have an average score of 70 of the CPI, whereas countries without such a process or a poor one, score an average of just 34 and 35 respectively. It is further elaborated that the countries with lower CPI scores had a higher concentration of political power among wealthy citizens.

As for the Western Balkans countries, corruption is becoming an official policy for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Transperancy International warns.

The report notes that “with a score of 36, Bosnia and Herzegovina declined by six points on the CPI since 2012.”

During the 2018 elections in BiH, “political parties and civil society organizations raised concerns over voting irregularities, threats against voters, the misuse of public resources and unequal access to the media.” “A lack of political will and a decline in implementation of laws and regulations are real challenges”.

The report outlines that brutal repression and threats to voters, manipulations with the voters list and election results, and complete mobilization of the country resources by the ruling parties, are the things that keep the country away from taking political responsibility and democracy.

“BiH has found itself in a situation in which corruption became official state, entity and cantonal policy, and this can be seen in every action of the institutions – if you analyze any appointment, tender, regulation, you will see a very clear, particular interest behind” , it was emphasized by the Chairman of the TI BiH Board of Directors, Srdjan Blagovcanin.

According to the CPI, Kosovo score is 36, and the report said it was experiencing “a shift in parliamentary power that could offer an opportunity for change, by abandoning the usual practice of political appointments in state-owned enterprises and by establishing a strong legal obligation for financial disclosure by political parties.”

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