“Corruption undermines democratic principles, as well as citizens’ trust in the political system, judiciary and elected officials, and represents a serious threat to long-term stability and collective security”, wrote Berton, adding that corruption is still very much a reason for concern in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Berton noted that authorities in BiH had taken some important measures to prevent and combat corruption - including the adoption of the state-level Law on Parliamentary Supervision, adoption of the Law on Protection of Whistleblowers in the RS, and creation and adoption of strategies and action plans for combating corruption at all levels of governance.
“On top of that, the new Law on Prevention of the Conflict of Interest is waiting to be discussed and adopted. (…) However, a lot more needs to be done. Creation of a strong legal framework imposes the need for concrete measures to implement those new rules”, explained Berton.
He underlined that no matter how good were the laws and regulations in the field of combating corruption, there would be no progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina if there was no efficient implementation of existing laws and strategies.
Furthermore, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH noted that citizens had to do more to prevent and combat corruption, as they were the ones who can demand responsibility of institutions and officials, point to the cases of corruption and demand sanctions for corrupted officials.
Berton underlined that the judicial sector also played an important role in the fight against corruption, adding that corruption cases - especially the most complex ones - rarely result in convictions, which undermines citizens’ trust in mechanisms which are supposed to respond to corruption.
He concluded that the fight against corruption was a long and complex process which required engagement of all segments of society, adding that politicians have to serve as an example to citizens who have voted for them.