Home Site map Contact us Switch to Bulgarian
www.csd.bg
Quick search
 
CSD.bg
 
 
The Balkan Black Sea Anti Corruption Roundtable
 

Summary

The Balkan Black Sea Anti Corruption roundtable, hosted by CSD and CIPE on 2 and 3 October, 2002 in Sofia, Bulgaria was attended by over 20 representatives from 10 countries. The event started off with informative presentations and lively discussion, focused particularly on the importance of sound laws to combat corruption. The necessity of including the business community in local and regional reform efforts was also stressed by the Georgian delegation in order to counter-balance a natural tendency toward top-down (statist) anti-corruption efforts. Key issues raised during the morning session of day One included: quality of the law making process, how to develop effective enforcement mechanisms and the impacts of criminalization and extra-legal (informal sector) activities on developing anti-corruption strategies.

Key conclusions

Following the situation reports and roundtable discussion on day One and the site visits on the morning of day Two, participants broke out into two groups to review the material presented and develop anti-corruption strategies for future implementation in the country and at regional level. The breakout groups were based on language: Group One - Russian speaking including the Azeri and Central Asian participants; and Group Two - English speaking, which included the CEE and Georgian participants. Following an hour brainstorming session, the groups reported back to moderator John D. Sullivan from CIPE. Key elements of anti corruption plans and strategic points included the following:

Group One

  • Target sectors identified for anti-corruption reform - economic/business sector, tax system, and judicial/rule of law.
  • Plan to draft a Code of Conduct for Civil Servants.
  • Plan to create an independent organization to hold Members of Parliament accountable.
  • Create an Office of Government Ethics, with a direct connection to the Ombudsman.
  • Pay civil servants living wages.
  • Create business associations with major anti-corruption elements, and regular seminars held to engage the business community directly.
  • Address and improve on the "cookie cutter" approach to anti-corruption and related reforms often applied by international finance and development organizations.
  • Strengthen the role of economic journalists in combating corruption.

Group Two

  • Define the pillars of the democratic state and build the corresponding institutions and governance mechanisms necessary for legal and regulatory implementation.
  • Identify common anti-corruption challenges within a country and within a region, and approach reform systematically.
  • Improve regional integration at the theoretical and enforcement levels (law making, customs, communications/lessons learned).
  • Broaden scope and view of regional networks, based on similar challenges to include Southeast Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia; hold regular seminars and improve communications.

Evaluation:

Overall the roundtable and the seminar were well received by the participants, and the interaction and networking between countries and regions was particularly valuable and significant. Additional value of the event was the realization among all participants that no group, country or region has a monopoly on effective approaches to combat corruption. By coordinating efforts, the following challenges, common to all participants, can be addressed:

  • Identify better ways to present anti-corruption reform strategies and policies to local and international stakeholders. This can be done by better networking and collective thinking on how to move forward. One example is to approach international organizations working on anti-corruption issues in a "cookie cutter" fashion, on a more united front with real regional needs and locally-inspired reform approaches. This could improve implementation in difficult environments such as SEE, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Develop a better understanding of law-making and democratic governance issues among reform stakeholders, including NGOs, the business community, and government. This involves asking questions such as: who profits from laws passed by Parliaments?, what is the capacity of a country's institutions and government to draft proper laws and implement them?, and how can state capture be avoided when working to combat corruption and develop functioning market-oriented democracies?
  • Assess the transaction costs of legal and regulatory action i.e. anti-corruption, and develop incentives to make entrepreneurship easier in the formal sector, rather than increasing punitive measures toward business in the informal sector.
  • "Develop tangible reform products that help stakeholders understand anti-corruption measures and their effective implementation such as Impact analyses of draft legislation and Short handbooks for businessmen and citizens to resist corruption.

In addition to active participation by an international audience at the roundtable, which was web-cast on the CIPE and CSD websites (www.cipe.org) and (www.csd.bg) and had 20 people log on, the participants at the Sofia event developed strong relationships and began to discuss next steps for improving anti-corruption measures in their countries, and in their regions. The cross fertilization of ideas and strategies will be built on by CIPE and the participants through follow up grants, publication and dissemination of the country reports presented at the roundtable.

 
CSD.bg
 
E-mail this page to a friend Home | Site map | Send a link | Privacy policy | Calls | RSS feed Page top     
   © Center for the Study of Democracy. © designed by NZ