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Bulletin, Volume 7

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In this issue

Several non-governmental in Serbia have decided to ‘whistle’ against corruption. They have launched a special web portal that offers opportunity to citizens to report corruption, namely to blow the whistle, while journalists engaged in this project will further investigate these reports and alarm the public. Although active for less than two months the portal ‘pistaljka.rs’ has already achieved results.

Very often the United Nations (UN) and its senior officials are also part of corruption scandals or at least of such allegations. The head of internal audit department resigned, accusing the UN Secretary General for lack of transparency and accountability.

In neighboring Kosovo one of the serious corruption affairs resulted in a detention of the National Bank governor, while in Bulgaria the leader of ethnic Turks living in this country will go on trial over possible conflict of interests during his service within the mandate of the previous government.

Corruption has been flourishing in the Western Balkan countries. Latest reports of relevant institutions say the combat against corruption in the Balkan countries is only declarative, thus presenting an obstacle on their road to the European Union membership. On this occasion our regular analysts Vanja Mihajlova gives a cross section of combating the corruption in the neighboring countries in an attempt to answer the question whether they are willing to deal with this problem.

In the meantime, the third Round Evaluation Report on Macedonia of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) notifies lack of effective application of the party funding regulations  and urges for certain legal improvements in terms of corruption criminalization. The report focuses on two significant topics: criminalization of the corruption and transparency in funding of the political parties, and offers 13 recommendations for improving the situation.

The issue also reviews the work of the Centers for Citizens in Macedonia, set up in four municipalities in the eastern part of the country to monitor and improve the work of local administration. The idea is for citizens to freely file their remarks, suggestions for the functioning of the local administration, which afterwards are being sent to the local government units, and their actions upon them have been constantly monitored. This issue gives more detailed review about the functioning of the centers in Stip and Vinica.

Finally, we offer you a story from India about a non-governmental organization, which by concrete numbers and analyses, shows how corruption has been ‘eating’ the meals of schoolchildren in one of the poorest countries in the world. Namely, sacks of rice for the students’ meals come down from 50 to 20-30 kg on their road to the schools. The difference is actually the price of corruption.

Once again we hope that the information and analyses will stimulate you to take concrete steps in favor of consistent application of the principles of ‘good governance’ and serve you as guidelines to more transparent, responsible working.

The seventh MAK issue can be found here