State and its fight against corruption

Transparency Serbia's Nemanja Nanadić says it's "very important" that the fight against corruption has received support of President Boris Tadić.

Source: B92

"Corruption will be broken, and members of no party will be spared," Tadić told his ruling Democrats (DS) main board meeting on Saturday in Belgrade.

"This is not the first time that President Tadić spoke about corruption and it's very important that top state officials offer support to the fight against corruption," Nenadić told B92.

"What's especially interesting is the part of Tadić's speech that said all parties in Serbia were mired in corruption," he pointed out.

"We should see to what degree such a stance could produce action and solve the problem, in what way the problem would be solved for the time being, although, from this speech we could not see that exactly," Nenadić continued.

"We have something that could serve as a plan in the fight against corruption that was adopted by the government in 2006, based on a strategy, but no one has in the meantime checked if this plan was being implemented."

"No one was held responsible for not implementing any of that plan, for not proposing legislation, for not adopting any acts, for not changing the manner of action, and this does not make the fight against corruption in Serbia serious," he said.

Nenadić reminded that "nothing, or almost nothing" has been done to solve corruption problems mentioned in last year's EC report on Serbia's progress in meeting the EU membership criteria.

At the time, the EC was not satisfied with transparency of political party financing, status of interdependent anti-corruption bodies, and some laws, such as the ones defining public procurement and conflict of interest.

Council of Europe's GRECO is also regularly monitoring corruption in Serbia and this body is expecting to learn which of their recommendations had been implemented by the end of the year.

But Nenadić does not expect a positive outcome here either.

"Above all because nothing new has been done in protecting the so-called whistleblowers who sometimes face legal and other adverse consequences. Even where one would expect Serbia to make most focused efforts because of this Euro-integrations process, Serbia has not made some breakthroughs that could've been made, and for this reason I fear to some degree that it could reflect on those Euro-integrations."

"But what's even worse, it will reflect on the citizens' confidence that the government is ready to deal with corruption," he said.

Tadić first announced "fierce fight against corruption" in early September last year, while a month later, Zrenjanin mayor, a DS member, was arrested.

The Serbian president and DS leader has since brought up the fight against corruption as a priority on several occasions, most notably in his address to the business community during a Mt. Kopaonik conference in March.


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