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Fight against transparency and competition instead of the fight against corruption

The International Anti-Corruption Day, December 9, found Serbia in stagnation or regression in almost all areas of importance for the fight against corruption, while among the work priorities of the new Government, there is no mention of anti-corruption plans.

One could even say that the fight against transparency and competition, the main anti-corruption mechanisms, has flared up.

The Government contracts the most valuable infrastructure works directly, without tenders, and hides feasibility studies for these works. The situation with illegally acting directors in public enterprises and state administration continues even without looking for excuses. Incompetence and lack of accountability to anyone except political mentors resulted in catastrophic losses in some public companies.

Publicly raised suspicions about high-level corruption cases remained unexamined even when strongly supported in the writings of investigative journalists. The statistics of criminal prosecutions adeptly lead to the wrong track because the data, due to legal definitions, also include criminal acts that have nothing to do with corruption or the public sector. The number of final convictions for corruption has not yet reached the unambitious goals set by the 2013 Anti-Corruption Strategy. Since 2018, Serbia has not had a Strategy, and work on a new one has not yet begun.

Also, no activities have been undertaken to fulfil the critical recommendations from the GRECO fifth evaluation round and the OSCE’s ODIHR mission report on the April 2022 elections in Serbia.

The UN General Assembly established the International Day against Corruption on December 9, 2003, when the signing of the UN Convention against Corruption began.