- Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:40 PM
Skopje, 13 October 2016 (MIA) – Uncorrupted administration must be the ultimate goal of every democratic country in which rule of law prevails. Corruption undermines trust in a legitimate, transparent and accountable administration, it negatively affects the economy of a country, its development and prosperity, threatens the principle of rule of law as the citizens and public interest suffer the consequences without exception.
These are the conclusions of Thursday’s conference marking the end of a two-year EU-funded project “Support to Efficient Prevention and Fight against Corruption,” organized by the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption (SCPC).
Apart from bribe, one of the most recognizable synonyms of corruption is misuse of public funds, it was noted.
“Progress in the country is possible only if all the key social groups and individuals say No to corruption, only if the politicians declare zero tolerance to corruption, corruptive practices and corruptive actions. There is an opportunity to achieve this by compiling a list of candidates for MPs for the upcoming parliamentary polls,” EU Ambassador Samuel Zbogar said.
The EU, he added, is constantly reviewing legal systems and anti-corruption mechanisms, rule of law and integration principles and the same is required of the countries aspiring to join the Union.
“The fight against corruption is one of the main preconditions to join the EU. Recent reports have shown that candidate-countries suffer from weak capacities and insufficient independence in the judiciary, institutions and bodies charged with implementing laws, freedom of the media, which hinder them in tackling corruption, Zbogar noted saying ‘the more a country is corrupted, the poorer and more unstable it is.’
According to him, the project’s findings show the country is prepared to fight against corruption. “The activities carried out are building your capacities to fight against corruption. We hope intellectual and material benefits will play a role in a smarter and stricter fight against corruption,” noted Zbogar calling corruption ‘one of the greatest evil of our time that causes poverty, inequality, injustice, instability and conflicts.’
According to German Ambassador Christine Althauser, Macedonia is facing a deep, prolonger political crisis that can be solved only through rule of law.
“The judiciary is part of this endemic challenge and legal transparency forms the fundamental segment of democracy and rule of law. There is no permanent solution to the crisis without this. The prosecution system should function in the interest of the citizens meaning it has to punish perpetrators and seize assets amassed illegally,” stated Althauser.
The German Ambassador said she encouraged the MPs to support the efforts of the Special Public Prosecution and to make sure there was equal justice for all. “In this regard it is crucial the political leadership to decide,” stressed Althauser.
Estimated at EUR 1.42 million, the project “Support to Efficient Prevention and Fight against Corruption” was launched in July 2014. Its implementation resulted in data collection software, manuals on confiscation of assets, conflict management, financing of political parties, etc. ba/14:37
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