GRECO report: partial progress done against corruption

TTimes
By TTimes October 14, 2020 12:11

GRECO report: partial progress done against corruption

TRANA, Albania - The latest annual GRECO report issued by the Council of Europe and measuring efforts against corruption concluded that the country has made steps forward however work remains to be done. 

The ‘Group of States against Corruption’ report recognizes the progress made by Albania in preventing corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors, but still requires improvement and the implementation of pending reforms. The report also acknowledges that four of ten of its 2014 recommendations have been fulfilled, whereas the rest have been only partially put in place.

The findings were discussed in a high level anti-corruption conference in Tirana with the participation of the ambassadors of Albania’s two main strategic partners: European Union and the United States.

EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca said that corruption in the country is widespread and called on the newly-created Special Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Prosecution (SPAK) to start their work on punishing corrupt officials. Corruption has always remained one of the main remarks that the bloc has made to Albania in its annual progress report.

Now that the country has gotten the green light for launching the full membership negotiation, that will be a top issue. New prosecutors and their investigating staff should work hard to put behind bars corrupt public officials. That would be the good sign to win the people’s trust in their new work, Soreca commented.

U.S. Ambassador Yuri Kim strongly urged new justice institutions to meet the expectations especially in these difficult times.

Kim mentioned corrupt officials, a justice sector captured by political interests, journalists either co-opted or threatened for reporting corruption, public offices used to promote or defend personal or party interests, state-owned enterprises that prioritize patronage or cronyism over efficient and effective operations, and state-officials interested in promoting self-interests over good governance to maintain their control as main challenges at these times.

During these times of the virus pandemic she reminded the government that “Any healthcare sector is rife with opportunity for corruption because of the size of its budget.” She said that it is up to the government to limit opportunities for corruption and punish those who use their public office to enrich themselves or their party, or who endanger their fellow citizens. She recalled the need for independent police, prosecutors, and judges “who are empowered to pursue corruption wherever they find it – regardless of political interests.”

The fight against corruption is a persistent condition from the European Union.

TTimes
By TTimes October 14, 2020 12:11