Monday, 9 December 2013

Report on Financing of Political Activities Presented at Conference “Politics and Money: Financing of Political Activities in 2012”

To mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, the National Assembly House hosted a Conference on “Politics and Money: Financing of Political Activities in 2012” where the Report on the financing of political activities was presented.

The Conference also touched on the control and public oversight of political party finances.

The Conference was opened by National Assembly Speaker Dr Nebojsa Stefanovic who said that the National Assembly’s activities, such as setting up a parliamentarian anti-corruption network, as well as its legislative work, had highlighted the importance of combating corruption. Stefanovic reminded how wide-spread corruption was both among the governing bodies and throughout society, so that we lived in a political system promoting or tolerating nepotism, unlimited and uncontrolled public spending and other types of corruption.

“We are witnessing an alarming growth of corruption due to all the specificities the country had gone through in the past decades, often caused by the ties between the ruling and political elite and the business circles which have, naturally, corrupted certain individuals from the political sphere who let them, for their own profit”, concluded Stefanovic.

The Parliament Speaker claims that Serbia has launched a decisive battle against corruption and crime supported by significant political will both from the executive and the National Assembly. He reminded that the Parliament had passed a Strategy for combating corruption and crime, accompanied by action plans, thus setting the groundwork for Serbia’s progress and rehabilitation. Among them are the European Union talks which will enable the establishment of the system of rule of law which will, through the adoption of European legislation, improve Serbia’s legislation to its citizens’ benefit. He also emphasised the importance of new investments and improvement of the economic environment which would lead to a reduction of unemployment and different thinking in the business world.

By adopting the principle of zero-tolerance for corruption the National Assembly had invested considerable effort into drawing public attention to this very real problem, substantiated by many examples which we cannot turn a blind eye on, we need to pass suitable legislation to fight the problem, said Stefanovic. He stressed that the implementation of these regulations and strengthening the state’s capacities to combat corruption are among the most significant tasks before us. That is why he stresses that the National Assembly as a representative institution must secure a more significant civic participation in the fight against corruption and crime. The Parliament Speaker believes that once the National Assembly, Government and all the other state institutions earn the citizens full trust, the words echoing in their halls will gain greater gravity.

Stefanovic added that the fight against corruption has its heroes, one of them being the late President of the Anti-Corruption Council Verica Barac who never buckled under pressure.

Anti-Corruption Agency Director Tatjana Babic said that one in six political subjects in Serbia have failed to submit an annual funding report, which was followed by the filing of misdemeanour charges against them. She stresses that the control of political parties is a considerable task calling for additional staffing and education of political subjects and the media.

The Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Susan Fritz commended Serbia’s efforts relating to political party funding, pointing out this was an extremely complex issue.

The Conference was also addressed by Prof. Dr Branko Lubarda, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Agency Board, Vladan Joksimovic, Anti-Corruption Agency Deputy Director, Prof. Dr Zoran Stojiljkovic, member of the Anti-Corruption Agency Board and Ruzica Stojiljkovic, head of the Department for the control of political subject funding of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

You can watch the conclusions of the Conference:

part one
part two

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