Bosnia and Herzegovina once again recorded a decline in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and, according to the results for 2022, with a score of 34 on a scale from 0 to 100, occupies the lowest place in the region and the third worst place in Europe. Only Russia and Ukraine, which are at war, scored worse than BiH.
The details were highlighted today at the press conference in Sarajevo, where the results of the global corruption perception index for 2022 were presented by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Transparency International in BiH (TIBiH), Srđan Blagovčanin, and Ivana Korajlić, the executive director of this organization.
CPI Index analyzes the perception of corruption in the public sector, and positions 180 countries based on 13 independent studies and surveys of experts and business people. This index (CPI) uses a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the highest possible degree of corruption, while 100 represents the complete absence of corruption.
While many countries in Eastern Europe are moving forward on tackling corruption, Bosnia and Herzegovina declined eight points together with Turkiye in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) since 2012, it was singled out as an example of the biggest decline compared to 2012 in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina once again fell behind in this year’s CPI and ranks by far the lowest in the region and the third worst in Europe overall when it comes to the state of corruption in the country.
The only two countries with a worse result are Russia and Ukraine.
With a score of 34 on a scale of 0 to 100, BiH is among the countries where the state of corruption is worsening the most. BiH records the worst trend of all regional countries. This is best illustrated by the example of Kosovo, which from 2012 to 2022 advanced from a score of 34 to 41 index points, while in the same ten years, BiH fell from 45 to 34 points.
In the key findings for the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it is stated that the countries of the Western Balkans are lagging behind in tackling organized crime due to the deterioration of the rule of law and the state of the judiciary.
According to Transparency International, BiH is at a historical low, and ethnic divisions are hindering the democratic institutions needed to fight corruption, which was especially evident in the state Prosecutor’s Office.
“Numerous corruption scandals, resignations and the very method of selecting the chief prosecutor have seriously called into question the integrity of the Prosecutor’s Office”, TI BiH said.
The organization pointed out that a number of important organized crime and corruption cases, including those involving top officials, have not been processed by the judiciary for years.
It also noted that the General Elections in 2022 were accompanied by a series of scandals involving the theft of votes and misuse of public resources and that the problem was not solved even by the imposition of amendments to the Election Law by the High Representative of the international community in the country, “whose actions only further deepened the political crisis”.
This year’s report is focused on the correlation between the level of corruption and the level of security, and organized crime, and the announcements by the President of the RS, Milorad Dodik, that this BiH entity plans to adopt very restrictive laws by introducing the criminalization of defamation and thereby additionally contribute to the silencing of the bearers of independent thought and, in general, to the violation of civil liberties and human rights, and primarily the right to freedom of expression.
As it was assessed, due to the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. the judiciary has been waiting for years for the processing of a number of important cases of organized crime and corruption, including those in which high-ranking officials participated, and one of the latest examples is the trial of those responsible for the crime in the Bobar Bank worth over 100 million KM, which ended in acquittal after a “long-term judicial farce of one of the first defendants in that case, and numerous other corruption affairs had a similar epilogue”.
TI BiH believes that the CPI shows that “there is no strategy, policy or activity of the state institutions in BiH to prevent corruption, but, on the contrary, state institutions, completely trapped by political control, focus their activities almost entirely on dealing with corruption, which, unfortunately, became the primary reason for the existence of institutions”.
This organization warns that a special danger for the state is “the complete symbiosis of organized crime and state institutions, which leads to further destabilization of the country and the collapse of security.”
“TI BiH, in cooperation with international and domestic experts, made a proposal for the Good Governance Agenda 2025, thus offering an innovative approach to the challenges of governance in the country, caused by the dominant capture of the state by ethnonational elites,” it was said at the press conference, underlining that the agenda presented a set measure to fight corruption.
These measures include, among other things, the implementation of systemic and functional audits of the public sector for the purpose of its optimization and centralization of public procurement, and improvement of the integrity of the electoral process and political parties.
According to the CPI, the most successful countries are Denmark with an index of 90, and Finland and New Zealand with an achieved index of 87, while at the very bottom are South Sudan and Syria with an index of 13, and Somalia with a score of 12.
Globally, the region with the highest average index is Western Europe, whose CPI averages 66, and the worst regions are – Sub-Saharan Africa with an average CPI of 32, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an average CPI of 35 points, Fena reports.