GRECO Executive Secretary: BiH has not implemented any of our recommendations

NEWS 16.12.2020 17:15
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Source: N1

Bosnia and Herzegovina has implemented none of the 15 recommendations the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) published for the country five years ago, GRECO Executive Secretary, Gianluca Esposito, told N1, adding that implementing them is not only important because it is an obligation BiH agreed to, but also something that would protect and promote human rights, democracy, the rule of law economic development.

According to two reports on the level of Bosnia’s compliance with GRECO recommendations aimed at preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors, as well as on the transparency of party funding, GRECO concluded that BiH has not made significant progress.

“Five years ago we issued 15 recommendations for Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen its system of prevention of corruption in the legislative bodies, that is, the members of Parliament and in the judiciary. Five years later, zero of these 15 recommendations have been fully implemented,” Esposito said, adding that GRECO qualifies the situation as ‘globally unsatisfactory’ and that the country is in its ‘non-compliance procedure’.

“It is important to implement GRECO recommendations not only because it is an international obligation that BiH has subscribed to, but it is also important because our recommendations are key to protect and promote human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and also, by the way, economic growth and economic development,” he said.

Those who serve the public in any function should have at least a minimum of understanding of “ethics, integrity and what situations they can be exposed to, so that when these situations arise they can manage them properly,” Esposito said.

Training is important, but in order to conduct it, the country needs to have the needed regulations in place first and those are “lacking in many respects,” he explained.

He gave the exampled of legislation on conflict of interest, which he said was “key legislation that should be adopted for which training will be important.”

“When corruption arises, we have all lost. Society has lost. Because we already have a problem. What we are trying to achieve is a situation where corruption is stopped before it actually arises. And the code of conduct sets the expectations for the members of parliament, but also for the population about what is allowed and what is not allowed,” he explained.

Greco also made “very precise recommendations” to Bosnia on how to boost transparency of political funding, but none of it was implemented, he said.

Esposito also commented on the recommendations regarding legislation on Bosnia’s judiciary, arguing that “there cannot be an effective fight against corruption without a truly independent judiciary.”

“When the judiciary in any country responds to the rule of the government of the day instead of the rule of law, then we have a problem, and then corruption investigations and prosecutions are not going to be independent as they should,” he stressed.

What exactly GRECO expects from BiH and what the purpose of those expectations is can be seen in the full interview above.