Corruption as global issue, laws good, conference in Belgrade told

NEWS 09.09.2019 14:34
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Source: Tanjug/Zoran Žestić

The participants at the “Protection of Whistle-blowers at central and local levels” praised Serbia as a pioneer in passing the law on Protection of Whistle-blowers, adding it was vital to implement the regulations,” the Beta news agency reported on Monday.

The US ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott said the corruption was a global problem and that an apathy nourished it, that it “undermines the trust in authorities, rises taxes and discourages investors and jobs because it makes people work in the grey economy.”

In his introductory remarks to the Conference organised by Serbia’s Justice Ministry, USAID and the Whistle (Pistaljka) website, Scott said that according to the USAID 2018 report, 80 percent of Serbia’s population believed that the corruption in the country was moderate to very high.

“Only a few people are ready to report (the corruption), some out of fear, some because they don’t believe something will change,” the ambassador said.

He added that the best way to fight corruption was to increase people’s conscience about reporting the case and the usage of whistle-blowers’ information in criminal proceedings.

The Deputy head of the European Union Delegation in Serbia Matea Norcic said the key value of the democratic society was the recognition of equality.

“The poorest are those the most exposed to corruption,” she said and added that corruption was like a disease and that the best cure in fighting it, as in all other conditions, is prevention.”

Vladimir Radomirovic, the editor-in-chief of the Pistaljka website said that “the Law on Protection the whistler-blowers passed in 2015 was not a goal per se, but, meant to protect people who reported some illegality.”  

“We are still at the beginning of the implementation of the law, and the final word should come from the public when the employers understand that whistle-blowers are not their enemies, but their allies,” Radomirovic said.

Nela Kuburovic, Serbia’s Justice Minister, said the urgency in proceedings and the protection of whistle-blowers were the two most essential things regulated by the Law.

She added that from the beginning of the implementation in June 2015 to the end of last year, 622 cases ended in court and 533 of them were solved.