In the past period, we have witnessed a prioritization of the fight against corruption by key actors of the international community regarding their policy towards the Western Balkans.
The US Government has adopted a Memorandum establishing the fight against corruption as a key national security concern and stipulating that the institutions shall promote good governance, transparency, and prevention of corruption in the United States and abroad.
The US president signed an executive order in June that allows the US government to sanction all those who contribute to the destabilization of the region. The sanctions include banning the entry and freezing of property of those who endanger the democratic institutions and the security in the region and are involved in serious corruption and bribery cases. The basis for this decision is the global Magnitsky Act that allows the US government to impose sanctions on individuals from any country that violates human rights and has corrupt practices. Apart from the United States, the global Magnitsky Act was adopted by parliaments in most countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Estonia, and Lithuania. In December 2020, the Act was also adopted by the European Parliament.
Improving the rule of law and tackling corruption in the country is also the focus of the presence of the European Union in the country. At the end of July this year, the EU Delegation and the OSCE Mission to Skopje announced that they would monitor the organized crime and corruption trials to improve the implementation of justice as a necessary precondition for EU accession.
By prioritizing the fight against corruption, the international community emphasizes that high-level corruption is recognized as one of the biggest obstacles to sustainable development and democratization in the region. This also means an increased focus on all institutions dealing with corruption and specific expectations from their performance. In addition to the focus of the international community, the fight against corruption must be a top domestic priority to achieve results that will have concrete benefits for the citizens. The institutions must demonstrate political will and commitment and cooperate with international actors to achieve common goals.
The Parliament is a central anti-corruption institution. The MPs need to adjust their activities to reflect the growing international focus on corruption by increased focus on the anti-corruption institutions, oversight of the government activities, and increased international cooperation. Most institutions in charge of dealing with corruption are accountable to MPs for their work. In that regard, the Parliament must intensify its oversight role over the work of these institutions, which would encourage accountability and proactivity and would require specific deliveries.
The project Anti-Corruption Talk in Parliament (ACT in Parliament) includes research and advocacy activities with the main purpose of supporting the reform process in North Macedonia, by reinforming the oversight role of the Parliament in relation to the fight against corruption.
The project e supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) from the United States of America. IDSCS is solely responsible for the content herein and it does not reflect the positions of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).