Serbia still doesn’t have an anti-corruption strategy

Another year is coming to an end and Serbia still does not have an anti-corruption strategy that would outline ways and means to curb corruption in our society.

This is an important document that should “map” the weak points in the system and define the measures that the state should implement in fighting corruption.

The last time Serbia had such a strategy was in 2018 which covered the period from 2013 to 2018. For years now, the European Commission has been urging Serbia to write this much-needed strategy and this is one of the main complaints that the Commission has outlined in its reports.

In the meantime, our society suffered through numerous affairs – Jovanjica, Krusik, and illegal construction in the Belgrade municipality of Palilula (for which the president of this municipality, Aleksandar Jovičić, was arrested) to name just a few. The resolution of these cases, however, has not been satisfactory. The European Commission has been underlining for years that Serbia has to achieve better results in the fight against corruption in high places.

The connection between specific corruption cases and the Strategy is only indirect, assesses Nemanja Nenadić, program director of Transparency Serbia, in an interview for European Western Balkans. On the other hand, he points out that the future Strategy and its Action Plan should be based on experience.

“All those mentioned cases of corruption are very valuable for the formulation of measures in the Strategy. This is one of the sources on the basis of which the Strategy should be drawn up – they show how corruption develops so we can foresee measures to prevent it from occurring in the future,” Nenadić believes.

The strategy should outline the country’s basic activities in the fight against corruption, explains Jovana Spremo, advisor for European integration at YUCOM. She points out that every country, especially a country that is an EU candidate, must have a clear strategic framework when it comes to this segment.

Nenadić sees the delay in writing the Strategy as an indication of how little importance the Serbian government currently attaches to the fight against corruption.

“If it gave more importance, then the Strategy would have been adopted at least for promotional and propaganda reasons, if not for reasons of hones political will. Secondly, when we talk about political will, it would be really strange if the Strategy was adopted without seeing why the previous one, which was pompously adopted in 2013, did not produce better results”, Nenadić concludes.

(Danas, 19.12.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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