PRESIDENT JAHJAGA’S SPEECH AT THE CONCLUDING MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COUNCIL

When we started our work within the National Anti-Corruption Council, based on the laws and the Constitution of Kosovo, our main aim was to establish regular communication and communication, in order to increase the efficiency of all of the institution in the fight against corruption. Almost two years since the establishment of the Council, despite the successful establishment of the communications between institutions, civil society and mechanisms necessary for corruption fighting, we are still being challenged by this grave phenomenon in within our society and are endangering our own future.

Fight against corruption is the utmost battle of ours, battle which will regain the confidence of the citizens in our institutions, which will help the democratic functioning of the institutions and of the whole society, as well as open the developmental perspective of our country.
 
We have been meeting for two years by now, and for these two years we have been searching for the ways of cooperation which will lead towards achievement of concrete results, while respecting the functionality and the full independence of each institution.
 
Our institutions, in cooperation with the international factor, must demonstrate to the citizens that this fight is a joint fight. Rule of law and order cannot function in a state where there is corruption.
National Anti-Corruption Council has demonstrated that there is space for cooperation. It has demonstrated that our institutions poses the necessary legislation and capacities to conduct this fight. It has also shown that we can work together and independently.
 
This stage of legislative and institutional consolidation must go in parallel with the leadership in each institution mandated to fight corruption. We, at this council, have established a vision of Kosovo without corruption. We have undertaken a noble mission to eradicate this phenomenon. We have discussed and overcome challenges of inter-institutional communications successfuly, because we are all ware of the importance of this fight for Kosovo. Our inter-institutional coordination is improved considerably but the results of this fight can be achieved only through brave leadership and responsibility for the undertaken mission.
 
The work of the National Anti-Corruption Council has reflected positively within Kosovo, as well as in the eyes of our international friends. We will continue to cooperate in a more concrete manner, to meet and to coordinate and align our activities.
 
The better we coordinate ourselves, the greater will be the success of this fight and the trust of the citizens in us and the values of a democratic society.
 
As we agreed at the concluding meeting last year, I have established a working group with representatives from your institutions. This group has met twice and has discussed in a concrete manner the implementation of the recommendations submitted by you.
 
The necessity for the harmonisation of the stance towards this phenomenon has been evidenced and emphasized at these meetings. There are identified certain deficiencies in the legislation and administrative functioning. These improvements have been made by changing and adapting of the rules and procedures for a better cooperation. All of the institutions have made positive changes in the legislative field and in the organisation of the administration which reflects on better cooperation.
 
These are initial successes; however, they are not sufficient.
We must fight this phenomenon in a more decisive manner, by creating a better future for the coming generations. It is our moral and legal obligation to make Kosovo a prosperous country, where rule of law and order prevails.
 
Continuation of all inclusiveness is essential. Corruption must be fought by all of us.
 
Improvement of Kosovo’s image helps our moving ahead. Only in this manner can we guarantee economic progress and social wellbeing. Foreign investors are interested to operate in a functional society, where their investments are protected by the institutions and where the business environment is safe and secure.
 
We have improved the legislation and administrative operation, but there is still more to be done. There are certain specific laws which must be amended in accordance with the standards of the European Union. Also, we must increase of efficiency in the implementation of existing laws. There is political will to do so, but it is the responsibility of everyone to turn this will into concrete results.
 
Honourable participants,
 
Anti-Corruption Agency has shown positive results, which would certainly become more substantial through strengthening and clarification of the coordination of this agency with other institutions, by defining of certain issues related to penal prosecution and concrete corruptive acts.
 
Kosovo Police is undertaking extensive efforts to increase specialised capacities required for the investigation of corruptive acts, which will show positive results in information gathering and professionalization of case-building.
 
Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo has undertaken steps which have strengthened the role of the Prosecution Service in investigation of corruptive acts, internal capacities of the Prosecution service must be increased and the high integrity standards of junior prosecutors must be maintained.
 
Judicial Council of Kosovo has prioritised the task of review of the corruptive cases. Better planification of the distribution of the cases to the Courts must be continued, in order to decrease the number of outstanding cases while increasing at the same time the efficiency of the judges of all levels and foreclosure of more corruptive cases within the same calendar year.
 
Honourable participants,
Side by side with the success and identification of challenges, we must start to build concrete policies.
 
It is necessary that we continue with the systemic and structural reforms, in as much congruence as possible with standards of the European Union and also by incorporation of our specifics with specific temporary solutions in order to become more efficient in uprooting of corruption.
 
We must increase the electivity of the pursuance of the corruptive acts, from the reporting stage to the final conviction, by foreclosing cases and undertaking of adequate decisions. We will not allow that citizens who denounce corruptive acts become disappointed by the investigational and Court systems due to procedural prolongments.
 
We agree that we must pay more attention to the field of procurement, as a field more susceptible to corruptive attacks and other misuses, the negative effects of which are more strongly perceived by the citizens and the society.
 
We must have an immediate and efficient control system of all tendering parameters, in cases when irregularities are suspected.
 
Capacity raising is necessary through efficiency raising of the Central Procurement Agency, of the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission and Procurement Review Body, which exercise their function in accordance with the law.
 
It is very important that we expedite the work in relation to the accomplishment of the mid-term priorities which derive from the European Commission’s Kosovo Feasibility Study.
 
We will not undertake these tasks only for the sake of European Union, but because it is our conviction and dedication to undertake them for us, the citizens of Kosovo, in order to have a peaceful and secure environment. We must demonstrate a clear engagement in order to provide results in this fight against corruption and organised crime, which includes initiation of investigations for each case and on anyone involved, by respecting the principle that no one is above the law and that there are no untouchables in our society.
 
Our citizens want us responsible and clean, accountable and endeavouring with dedication for a better future of the country.
 
We will undertake these endeavours in a close and continuous cooperation with EULEX and Special Prosecutors Office.
 
Fulfilment of these criteria includes the approval of the law on confiscation of wealth and congruence of other relevant laws with Acquis Communautaire. The whole of this engagement must be crowned with the approval as soon as possible of Anti-Corruption Strategy.
 
Corruption transcends the state boundaries and becomes transnational, which may be prevented through declaration of wealth, control of the origin of wealth, payment through bank transactions as well as Kosovo’s membership in international bodies in the field of justice and security.
 
Another shape of the corruption phenomenon is fiscal evasion, or the transferring of the currency abroad, linked to illegal activities.
 
The proceedings of the National Anti-Corruption Council reflect positively in the endeavours of all of us. We will continue cooperate in a more concrete manner, to meet on regular bases, coordinate and align our activities.
 
The better we coordinate ourselves, the greater will be the success of this fight and the trust of the citizens in us and the values of a democratic society.