The Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Bulgaria has published the report “Countering Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2001 – 2011”, which was presented to policy makers and stakeholders in Sarajevo at an anti-corruption policy forum on June 12, 2012. The forum is part of an effort by the European Union to empower the civil society in the country in its fight against corruption through exchange of experience with similar organizations in the region.
The report provides an overview of the state and dynamics of corruption and anti-corruption developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the aforementioned period. It builds on the local insight of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) in Sarajevo and CSD’s 15 years of experience with regards to monitoring corruption and anti-corruption trends in Bulgaria. The findings are based on the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS), a state-of-the-art tool developed by CSD for monitoring the dynamics of corruption at the national level. This methodology measures not only attitudes and perceptions of corruption, but also actual experiences (i.e. victimization) of citizens. At the forum, CSD’s Program Director Mr. Ruslan Stefanov highlighted that CSD and CIN complemented each other’s efforts as CMS captures the administrative corruption while investigative reporting helps catch political (large scale) corruption.
According to the report’s findings, during the past 10 years corruption pressure in Bosnia and Herzegovina has increased, while the actual participation of citizens in corrupt activities has subsided. It is, however, worrying that despite their reduced encounters with corruption, citizens perceive the phenomenon as ever more widespread and their trust in state institutions to fight corruption is fading. According to Mr. Stefanov, while eradicating corruption is a historically slow process, it is of paramount importance that the justice system restores citizens’ trust in the institution through punishing corruption at the highest level.
Additional information on the Anti-Corruption Policy Forum can be found at csd.bg.