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EU helps Bosnia and Herzegovina combat corruption

The Sebilj in Sarejevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, courtesy of WikipediaAn EU project recently implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) aims to end corruption by providing for accountability, transparency and improvements in the areas of public finance, law enforcement and business.

The project will aid the country in preparing its action plan against corruption for the years 2015 to 2019, the news service said on Wednesday.

To date, EU efforts to end corruption in BiH have included assistance to law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.

According to Holger Schroeder, chief diplomat for the delegation of the EU in BiH, the 450,000 project will help the country develop and implement these strategies.

“We need effective law enforcement agencies, as well as judges and prosecutors who are not afraid to take on these complex cases. We also need the involvement of civil society and the media to jointly monitor developments in cases concerning corruption, and also to emphasise all the successes that have been achieved in this field,” Schroeder said.

He added that ending corruption is one of the most important tasks BiH will face on its way to joining the EU.

Sead Lisak, director of the Director of the BiH Agency for Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption, said the country is at a crossroads in its struggle with corrupt activity.

“BiH needs a modern, engaged and bold strategy to combat corruption. By recognising and applying the best European practices against corruption, we will strive to improve the domestic product,” Lisak told SETimes.

According to Transparency International, however, past projects have not had the expected effect. In recent years, there has been an increase in the level of corruption in the country.

“The main difference between this project and others is that we will assist the agency for prevention of corruption to prepare a strategy and an action plan,” Zoran Jacev, the leader of the EU project, told SETimes.

The plan is expected to encourage institutions to fulfil their legal obligations, more closely coordinate their activities, strengthen citizens’ confidence and cooperate with the civil and business sectors, as well as the media.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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