Transparency Serbia said on Thursday that the European Commission latest annual report on Serbia’s progress indicates that corruption is a huge problem on the country’s road to the European Union.
According to the organization, the report confirms that state bodies did not implement the laws and plans to fight corruption as well as what it called the impermissible practice of contracting public procurement and public-private partnership based on inter-state agreements and special procedures to select strategic partners for infrastructure projects deemed to be of national importance.
It said that the European Commission failed to mention the problem of people in ranking posts in the acting status. The authorities can appoint people to posts in state institutions and companies on what should be a temporary assignment as acting post holders but to a time limited by law. Organizations such as Transparency Serbia have warned that a number of the people in ranking positions have been kept on in acting status long past the period set by law which makes those people easily controllable.
“Besides the fact that the word corruption is mentioned 77 times in the report, the significance of the problem is shown by the fact that it is mentioned in connection with all key EU integration conditions – political criteria, rule of law, economic development and public administration,” the press release said.
The European Commission also recalled an obligation that Seria failed to observe – abiding by the legal principles of transparency and competition in urgent procurement during the coronavirus pandemic, it said. Equally important, according to Transparency Serbia, is the Commission’s call for the authorities to amend the regulations on financing election campaigns and implement OSCE ODIHR recommendations for the June elections which they failed to do.