- Thursday, May 05, 2016 5:49 PM
Skopje, 5 May 2016 (MIA) – It is the responsibility of every public servant to prevent corruption in Macedonia. Accountability, equality, awareness, governance and rule of law, i.e. integrity, both personal and professional, are sought after values, it was concluded at a conference organized Thursday by the EU delegation in Skopje on prevention of corruption and conflict of interests in local self-government units.
“If corruption compromised institutions and undermined democratic values, then the system would become dysfunctional, the citizens would lose their confidence in institutions and the government would lose its legitimacy,” stated Minister of Local Self-Government Shiret Elezi addressing the conference.
The 2015-2020 government program on local development and decentralization, she added, envisages several activities as regards good governance aimed at improving the standards of local authorities and administration allowing public finances at local level to be managed in a transparent manner.
“The outcome is expected to result in an accountable and depoliticized public administration that abides by the principle of merit and provides more efficient and quality services to the citizens and business entities,” Elezi said adding that political will, educated local administration and informed citizens were required.
An anti-corruption policy is top priority for Macedonia, according to Slovenian Ambassador Branko Rakovec.
“Corruption is impossible to be curbed only with criminal legislation. It is necessary to change the mentality and to stop covering up shortcomings in the public sector, both at central and local level,” he stated.
According to EU Ambassador Aivo Orav, no country in the world is immune to corruption.
“The EU is committed to supporting your efforts and those of the country regarding this matter. We believe the law on protection of whistleblowers, which has been adopted recently, will serve to enhance the credibility of institutions,” said Orav.
The State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) in cooperation with UNDP throughout 2014 and 2015 had continued to promote anti-corruption policy and the policy of integrity at local level.
“So far, 47 municipalities in Macedonia have signed this anti-corruption policy,” said SCPC director Igor Tanturovski.
The conference was held as part of the project on support for effective prevention and fight against corruption. The project, funded by the EU with EUR 1,4 million, will be implemented from July to October 2016 in order to improve anti-corruption legal and institutional framework and strengthen the system of management of conflict of interests. ba/17:48
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