EU helps BiH counter corruption at all levels

EU helps BiH counter corruption at all levels

Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative in BiH, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, said in Sarajevo that BiH recently made some progress in addressing a few of the outstanding GRECO recommendations, but that still a lot of work needs to be done.

“Next to more ambitious efforts to build a legislative and institutional framework capable to address also high-level corruption, BiH needs to step up transparency, ensure an open discussion with the public and better engage citizens to become “watchdogs” of the public interest,” underlined Wigemark in his opening speech at the Conference that gathered high-level speakers from EU and BiH together with anti-corruption experts from all over the country, including representatives from the civil society.

Participants concluded that BiH needs to show determination in taking concrete steps to build a sustainable track record in countering and eradicating corrupt practices. The EU Delegation in BiH said in the press release that Union supports BiH continuously on its path towards EU integration in effectively countering corruption. It was emphasized that prevention and repression of corruption require full attention from an early stage in the EU Accession Process, and the opening of the respective chapters of the EU acquis will be based on tangible results.

The project significantly helped to advance the strategic framework to counter corruption at all levels of governance and ensured higher visibility of the institutional network for the prevention of corruption in BiH.

Hasim Sabotic, Director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption (APIK), recalled the importance of the coordination function of APIK and thanked the EU for the steady support and all the work done to fight corruption in BiH.

The Project team leader Londa Esadze, provided an overview of the findings and results of the Project. In her conclusions she highlighted that “the monitoring mandate of all corruption prevention bodies in BiH needs to be further strengthened and that sufficient financial and staff resources must be made available for the successful implementation of anti-corruption strategies and action plans on all levels of governance“.

The EU Project “Capacity Development for Prevention of Corruption and Creation of Strategic Documents in the Field of Fight against Corruption in BiH” is fully financed by the European Union in the amount of € 200 000 under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The Project was designed to support the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption (APIK) along with the anti-corruption bodies and teams on entity and cantonal level./IBNA