Kosovo has made progress in the fight against corruption over the last year, according to the newest Transparency International report, published on Tuesday, January 25. According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2021, Kosovo got 39 out of 100 possible points, ranks 87th on the Transparency International list of 180 countries, and 17 places higher compared to the last year.
The progress was commended by the international community in Kosovo. “Congratulations to Kosovo moving up 17 places compared to last year in the Corruption Perceptions Index. A lot of work still ahead. The European Union fully supports Kosovo in the ongoing fight against corruption”, tweeted the Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Tomáš Szunyog.
CPI is the most widely-used global corruption ranking in the world. It measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be, according to experts and businesspeople. This year’s CPI reveals that corruption levels are at a worldwide standstill. CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
German Ambassador Jorn Rohde also commended Kosovo. “Good news indeed! Kosovo makes visible progress in fighting corruption! In TI’s Anticorruption index Kosovo improved 17 places, now ranks at 87. Encouraging. Kosovo finally starts to ,walk the talk‘ in seriously fighting corruption. Keep it up! Kosovo has full German support,” Rohde tweeted.
The French embassy in Kosovo praised also for Kosovo’s progress in the fight against corruption. “Good news. Kosovo marks progress by rising 17 places compared to last year in the corruption perception index,” the embassy wrote.
This year Kosovo is among some democratic that marked an improvement. According to CPI Kosovo has seen peaceful transitions of power between governments over the last years. Its parliament was the only one in the Western Balkans – and one of only five in all of Europe – that did not transfer decision-making powers to the executive when the pandemic hit. The country showed a genuine will to fight corruption by investigating potentially corrupt leaders and adopting a strategy on rule of law. However, the government needs to ensure public appointments are timely, transparent and impartial to bring necessary improvements to public procurement processes.
The result is welcomes by Kosovo leaders. “Our fight against organized crime and institutional corruption yields results. Kosova improved its position 17 places on the Corruption Perceptions Index, from 104 to 87. Gratified by this assessment from credible organizations. Our work continues, until we approach the top of the list,” the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, wrote on twitter.
“A year ago we promised that the fight against corruption would be one of the main priorities of the new institutions. Today, this promise is yielding the first extremely promising results. Step by step, towards eradicating corruption,” the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani commented.
This year, the global average remains unchanged for the tenth year in a row, at just 43 out of a possible 100 points. Despite multiple commitments, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption in the last decade. Two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating that they have serious corruption problems, while 27 countries are at their lowest score ever.
“In authoritarian contexts where control rests with a few, social movements are the last remaining check on power. It is the collective power held by ordinary people from all walks of life that will ultimately deliver accountability,” said Daniel Eriksson, Chief Executive Officer of the Transparency International Secretariat.
CPI ranks Serbia 96th out of 180 countries and territories, with 38 points, recorded for the second year in a row, which is also its lowest so far.
Serbia has not made any progress and, with 38 points as in previous years, remains at its lowest result since 2012. The report recalls that Serbia is no longer considered a democracy but a hybrid regime. The Government has become notorious for its strong influence on the media, harassing independent critics and holding unfair elections.
The Government’s lack of transparency over significant foreign investment is a widespread concern, reflected in a recent wave of public protests against a controversial lithium exploration project.
The CPI report stresses that throughout the Western Balkans and in Turkey, which has an index of 38, the concentration of power in autocratic leaders and their parties has undermined judicial independence, which helps maintain the capture of the state.
Authoritarian governments are said to have spied on, harassed and attacked activists, journalists, opposition leaders and ordinary citizens across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
In the Western Balkans, Montenegro has an index of 46, Northern Macedonia and Kosovo 39, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania 35. Slovenia is 41st with an index of 57, and Croatia is 63rd with an index of 47.