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Opinion / Editorial

National strategy against corruption

National strategy against corruption

Many years ago, when I was accompanying the great Byzantologist, the French academic Alain Ducellier, for the third time through Albania, he said these words to me: "The Ottoman Empire could live for one or two more centuries, if only it would to produce the weapons himself and if there would not be so much corruption. Especially the last one destroyed the foundations". Our National Strategy against corruption, coordinated with the recommendations formulated by the international organizations in which Albania is a member, aims to change the paradigm in terms of the strategic approach in this field, including objectives and measures, which affect as much as possible effectively on the causes of corruption, without being limited to fighting it, i.e. to foresee the implementation of measures for the prevention of corruption, for the promotion of organizational integrity, anti-corruption education and, not least, the recovery of the damages caused, i.e. confiscation of assets extorted from the corrupt. Corruption remains a challenge, a provocation on a national and regional scale. This phenomenon, on a strategic level, damages society in various ways and, as such, is able to have serious negative consequences, both in the economic and social activities of citizens. In this regard, we can affirm that, in quite a few cases, corruption has damaged the lives, physical integrity, properties of citizens and their very trust in state institutions. Corruption is the cause that seriously limits Albania's development prospects, the capacity to promote the objectives of our foreign policy and tarnish the image of our country in the world. At the same time, corruption damages the efficiency and professionalism of public authorities and institutions, especially in terms of providing services of general interest, which, as we mentioned above, is accompanied by the weakening of citizens' trust in the state's ability to manage social relations. The causes of the phenomenon of corruption are multiple, while the problem of preventing and fighting it is part of the spectrum of competences of a large number of institutions in Albania, which must cooperate among themselves to guarantee synergy in the activities of promoting integrity . An additional provocation or challenge for state authorities is caused by the role of corruption as a facilitator and facilitator of the activity of organized crime groups. As a result, it goes without saying that the strategy should have a special aim in its program, which has to do with the integrated, i.e. undivided, approach of corruption and organized crime, while the border between corruption and organized crime is purely formal. conceptual. The National Strategy for the Defense of the Country presupposes, in addition to guaranteeing the inviolability of state borders,and the maximum readiness of the Albanian authorities for the protection of the rule of law and democracy, the independence of justice and the fight against corruption, putting particular emphasis on avoiding the negative consequences that stem from corruption on a national scale. The strategy, to be as perfect as possible, must be formulated in the framework of a broad consultation process with the public sector, civil society and the business environment. We say this because the implementation of such a vision in practice requires a strong reliance on political will, this factor, which implies: 1. the extraordinary value of a corruption-free society and the help that the political factor has to give in fulfilling the measures foreseen in the strategy; 2. integrity, i.e. the duty of representatives of institutions and public authorities to consider the public interest as something that stands above personal interest; 3. transparency of citizens of all ranks to ensure unrestricted access to information of general interest, in the decision-making process, as well as consultation with civil society during this process, which ultimately determines the functioning of the public health system , the national education system, the business environment and public transactions, the financing of political parties and election campaigns, and the activity of parliamentarians.