Today, Kosovo Democratic Institute – also chapter of Transparency International global network, in a press conference published the Corruption Perception Index for 2017, where it announced that Kosovo has made progress, mowing ten places ahead in comparison to last year’s results.
On this occasion, Majlinda Kurti from KDI highlighted that as in the past 20 years, Transparency International (TI) has published the results of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2017.
This assessment uses different reports of renowned international organizations such as Freedom House, World Bank and Bertelsmann Foundation as source of information. The index uses a 100-degree rating system in which the maximum rating means ‘a country clean of corruption’ while zero point means ‘very corrupt country’.
Further she stressed that at a global level, out of the 180 countries participating in this assessment, New Zealand ranked first this year with 89 points passing the last year’s leader Denmark, while Somalia remains the last for the 11th year in a row with only 9 points.
Kosovo is ranked in the 85th position, moving ten places ahead compared to the previous year when it was ranked 95th. Although in a better position than last year Kosovo, with 39 points, is still below the global average of 43 points.
Another interesting finding comes from the comparison of Kosovo with the countries of the region. Kosovo has surpassed Albania, Macedonia and Bosnia, while it is positioned behind Montenegro and Serbia, Kurti declared.
Arben Kelmendi from KDI in his presentation focused on three areas acknowledged by this Index as areas where Kosovo has made progress:
Independence of the justice system. The report considers that last constitutional amendments that ensure that the majority of KPC and KJC members are elected by their peers judges and prosecutors, represent an increase in the level of autonomy in Kosovo’s justice system.
Another evidence of the increase in justice sector independence is the fact that the Minister of Justice is not a member of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council. Unfortunately, the report also acknowledges that the work of the judiciary continues to languish due to high level of political interference.
Independent media. The report also highlights the empowerment of the media not only in making corruption cases public, but also in pressuring judiciary institutions to expedite their reaction after their announcement in the media.
The report also mentions cases when the judiciary has promptly reacted to the threats toward journalists from the persons labeled in their reports.
War against corruption. Improvement in this area is mainly attributed to the improvement of legislation framework, the establishment of task groups and follow-up mechanisms for fighting high-level corruption, and the increase of cases under the court review.
Fighting corruption continues to be one of the key conditions imposed by the international community on Kosovo’s institutions in their journey towards EU integration. The constant pressure toward Kosovo institutions from within to bring visible results has brought positive effects.
The key problem remains the lack of transparency in the expenditure and management of public finances and the financing of political parties, where the latter continues to refuse to make financial disclosure.
Lack of professionalism, political party influence and control in nominating and selecting candidates at all levels in the public sector, continues to be an obstacle.
Despite, progress reported in this year’s Corruption Perception Index, recent research conducted by KDI shows the acknowledgement, from the justice system actors, on the high level of corruption, political interference, nepotism and other forms of favoritism within the system.
In the field of public procurement, an increase in transparency of public contract, improved contract management and accountability should be of high priority, added Kelmendi.
KDI as a member of Transparency International global network calls for an open and transparent society and believes in building Kosovo as a society where the government, businesses, civil society and everyday life of citizens are free of corruption.
All citizens can report alleged corruption cases to KDI through free-of-charge phone line 0800 77777.