Corruption Perceptions Index for Albania concerning and indicates that ongoing reforms have to continue, says OSCE Head of Presence Bernd Borchardt

Corruption Perceptions Index for Albania concerning and indicates that ongoing reforms have to continue, says OSCE Head of Presence Bernd Borchardt

Transparency International published the results of its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2018 ranking Albania at place 99 among the 180 countries and territories included in the index.

Albania scored 36 out of 100 points, registering a drop of two points from the 2017 rating and a drop of three points from 2016.

“The lack of progress in fighting corruption remains one of the most serious problems confronted by many countries around the world, weakening democratic regimes by undermining citizen’s trust in democratic process. Corruption erodes public trust and slants economic growth in newly democratized countries. Unfortunately, most of the countries of South-Eastern Europe register a regress compared with last year. The negative trend in Albania is all the more worrying as it is a reversal of a notable improvement in corruption perceptions between 2013 and 2016”, said OSCE Head of Presence Bernd Borchardt.

Transparency International notes that a possible cause of this reverse trend is the political stalemate that the country has seen in 2018, which led to the blocking of important anti-corruption reforms, while the continuation of the judicial vetting process and the setting up of new anti-corruption institutions are encouraging, but still to produce results.

“We see with concern the reverse in perceptions of corruption in Albania,” said Borchardt. “The results of the index show that Albania still has to reform its system of public institutions, which is perceived as more corrupt than in the last two years.”

Borchardt said that ongoing reforms including the vetting of the judiciary should be completed and new anti-corruption institutions set up: “We look forward to the establishment of the new anti-corruption institutions, and continue to call on public institutions and the rule of law agencies in Albania to proceed with the implementation of justice and anti-corruption reforms in line with international recommendations and obligations of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.”

He stressed the role citizens and civil society can play: “Albanian citizens should refuse corruption and report any corruption cases to the government. Civil society should also continuously monitor public life in the country and report regularly on corruption-related issues, keeping the topic alive in the public space, while supporting the development of relevant legislation, institutions and expertise.”

“The OSCE Presence in Albania regrets that the positive trend in public perceptions since 2013 was reversed in 2017 and even worsened in 2018. We remain committed to supporting Albania in its fight against corruption,” concluded Borchardt. /ibna/