International Anti-Corruption Day: Pandemic further weakened anti-corruption mechanisms in Serbia

Serbia is marking December 9, International Anti-Corruption Day, without progress in key areas, and with the pandemic crisis further weakening anti-corruption mechanisms.

The crisis caused by the pandemic in Serbia has led to further restrictions in access to information and violations of public procurement rules.

This year was another in a series in which 'numerous cases of suspected corruption that have been made public remained uninvestigated. Officials kept presenting the statistics on prosecuting the corruption in a way which did not allow real effects to be seen.

The implementation of the new Law on Public Procurement, in line with the European Union's standards, has already been seriously violated with the largest public works carried out based on rules from a special law on infrastructure construction from September 2020.

Even after five years and twice extended deadlines, the recommendations of the Council of Europe's anti-corruption mechanism GRECO about the prevention of corruption by MPs, judges and prosecutors are not met.

The most public companies and state administration bodies are still in the illegal acting position. They have not yet introduced professional management, and the elementary legality of their decisions and contracts is still questionable.

Finally, the changes in the regulations before the elections did not solve the previously existing problems in the financing of the campaign and the promotional activities of public officials during the last elections.

The International Day against Corruption was established by the UN General Assembly, following the signing of the UN Convention against Corruption on December 9, 2003.