The Decline in Fighting Corruption Leads to Complete Lawlessness in BiH

Transparency International in Bosnia (TI BiH) called for urgent reforms of Bosnia’s judiciary and laws on conflict of interest, public procurement, the electoral system, and financing of political parties in a statement on Wednesday (09.12), International Anti-Corruption Day, warning that further decline in the fight against corruption and rule of the law would lead to “complete lawlessness and the collapse of institutions”. 

The organization pointed out that Bosnia has experienced a significant decline according to the latest Corruption Perception Index and has experienced the worst result since 2012. It also said that the European Commission in its latest report on Bosnia “very directly emphasizes the lack of any progress in implementing reforms, such as reform of electoral legislation, the judiciary, and other anti-corruption mechanisms, as well as the political captivity of the state, which affects the daily lives of citizens”. 

It also noted that an OSCE report on the prosecution of corruption highlights a “culture of impunity”, while a report on Bosnia’s judiciary said that the judiciary does not fight crime and corruption seriously. 

It also criticized the fact that Bosnia’s top judicial institution, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), has not been reformed, adding that the judiciary is facing “unprecedented corruption scandals in its ranks, lack of integrity, political influence, and a complete lack of accountability”. 

“Political parties in BiH have once again shown not only that they do not want to improve the fight against corruption, but also that they are direct instigators of corruption, compromising the electoral process and the will of the voters and devastating all institutions through their patronage networks.  

It noted that the fight against corruption is a precondition for the implementation of all other reforms in Bosnia and urged EU representatives to ensure that meeting the conditions for EU candidate status “includes the adoption of adequate anti-corruption mechanisms in accordance with the best practices and standards” and not to allow ” the collapse of the legal framework and law enforcement institutions under the guise of implementing reforms”.