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Roundtable 13.02.2019

Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) and NGO Aktiv, through a conference, today published the report “Transparometer 2018”, which highlights the findings and recommendations from the measurement of transparency in 15 municipalities of Kosovo. Based on measurements of 59 indicators in four pillars, the most transparent municipality turned out to be Drenas (82.22% of the indicators), while less transparent was Mamusha (27.12% of the indicators). Subject of this transparency index were the municipalities: Drenas, Mitrovica South, Viti, Malishevë, Klinë, Dragash, Kamenica, Gracanica, Obiliq, Shtërpcë, Mamusha, North Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Leposavic and Zvecan, (72.88%), 4. Malisheva (72.88%), 5.Kline (68.66%), 6.Dragash (64.41%), 2. Drenas (82.22%), 2. South Mitrovica (77.97%), ), 7. Kamenica (62.71%), 8. Štrpce (56.78%), 9, Gra?anica (54.24%), 10. Obiliq (53.39%), 11. Mamusha (27.12%).

At the opening of this conference, Ismet Kryeziu, Executive Director of KDI stressed that lack of transparency, lack of public participation in decision-making and inadequate ethics in governance are not only a challenge for local institutions but also for the central government . Therefore, KDI and the project which it is implementing in these municipalities aims to reduce the risk of mismanagement, increase citizen trust in institutions and their participation in decision-making.

British Ambassador to Pristina Ruairi O’Connell, emphasized that this project is about the power that the citizens hold. He said that the essence of democracy is the rule of the people. “We have an expression in Britain that ‘knowledge is power’. If citizens are engaged in the democratic process, their power grows. The more information citizens have about how their representatives are ruling, the more they can demand them account. The more questions they ask, the more responsible they become their politicians. Wisdom is power. And wisdom put into the hands of men is a powerful thing. But also this power is useless unless it is used by people. Active citizenship is the key to democracy, “said O’Connell.

In her address, Rozafa Ukimeraj, General Secretary of the Ministry of Administration and Local Government (MAPL), pointed out that despite progress in some areas, municipal transparency remains one of the biggest challenges. “A small number of municipalities provides access to official documents and this is worrying, while only a small number of municipalities fulfill budget transparency,” Ukimeraj added.

Meanwhile, Ahmet Rushiti from KDI, after presenting the results for each municipality has encouraged municipalities to remove bureaucratic procedures related to the demands of citizens and to work on the creation of effective mechanisms for their management. He has asked the municipalities to apply the law on official languages and work towards enabling open data.

Miodrag Milicevic from “NGO AKTIV” said that implementation of this project in the northern municipalities opens opportunities and paths for greater transparency and accountability of the local level.

Representatives of the municipalities included in this publication agreed with the findings of the report and expressed their commitment to further enhancing the transparency of the institutions.

The full findings report and recommendations can be downloaded here: http://kdi-kosova.org/publikimet/transparometri-komunal-2018-2/The project “Increasing Accountability of Local Government Institutions” was supported by the British Embassy in Pristina.