- Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Project backed by a million US dollars aims to set up nework of journalistic teams all over the country that will report back on corruption.
Two Bosnian NGOs, the Center for Media Development and Analysis, CMDA, and the Association Infohouse, have unveiled a project backed by more than a million US dollars aimed at setting up a systematic and sustainable anti-corruption network.
Presenting a digital counter of all the money that is disappearing through fraud, the project, called the Anti-corruption Civil Organizations Unified Network, ACCOUNT, said that corruption was robbing Bosnia and Herzegovina of 24 euro every second of the day.
Eldin Karic, director of ACCOUNT, said that five sectors had been defined as priority areas in probing corruption: the judiciary, education, health care, the economy and public finances.
“Defined problems and spotted cases of corruption will be investigated by ACCOUNT's journalistic teams in order to present them to the public,” Karic said.
“In that way we plan to put pressure on responsible institutions,” he added.
Karic explained that within the remit of the project, CMDA intends to train up more than 50 watchdog teams in the country that will report to them on corruption cases.
Speaking on Wednesday at the presentation of the project, the US ambassador to Bosnia, Patrick Moon, said that corruption is a problem everywhere, but in Bosnia it is made tougher by the country's major economic difficulties.
Zeljko Komsic, member of the Bosnia's tripartite State Presidency, said that everyone in the country should fight to establish a system to combat corruption that included all the key institutions, the media and civil society.
Bosnia is ranked 91 among 182 countries in the corruption index of the watchdog organisation Transparency International, far behind the countries of the European Union and most countries in the region.
The Director of Bosnia's State Agency to Coordinate Combating Corruption, Sead Lisak, told the conference on Wednesday: “We have no reason to celebrate, especially after the latest Transparency International report, which said that Bosnia is far away from meeting its international obligations in fighting corruption.”
EU enlargement official says one of the priorities facing Bosnia in the next few months is getting the state anti-corruption agency up and running.
To keep its reform policy credible for investors, the government must find common ground with the IMF and look for a new arrangement, experts say.