PRESIDENT JAHJAGAS SPEECH AT THE CONCLUSIVE MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COUNCILI am opening this meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Council with an overview of the work and activities undertaken by institutions and mechanisms mandated to fight corruption.
Honourable representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Veseli, mr. Mustafa, Ministers
Representatives of the judiciary, prosecution and Kosovo Police,
Honourable representatives of the civil society,
Ambassadors, representatives of the international missions in Kosovo,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am opening this meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Council with an overview of the work and activities undertaken by institutions and mechanisms mandated to fight corruption.
At the previous meeting of this Council- which aims institutional coordination in fighting of corruption and organized crime- we have identified deficiencies in legislation and administrative functioning. We have made necessary amendments and procedural changes in order to increase the institutional efficiency in fighting of corruption.
We need to implement the existing laws. At this council we have stated that political will to fight corruption exists and that now is the high time that this determination converts into concrete results.
Corruptive cases must be investigated, handled and concluded with increased intensity. Police, prosecution and courts must increase cooperation in handling of cases in process. A delay in handling of the corruptive cases removes the trust of our citizens in our institutions.
Citizens of the Republic of Kosovo are the main ally in fighting of corruption. Whistleblowers of penal acts must be encouraged by institutional protection in order to continue with the reporting in institutions and media. It is an institutional obligation of all of us to handle with urgency all reporting of ugly and damaging phenomena to treat with urgency. Delays in handling of the reports by whistleblowers are a delay of justice and at the same time is discouragement of civic engagement in this fight.
Today, there is no greater act of patriotism and honour for our state and its future than reporting and confirmation of penal corruptive acts.
Anti-Corruption Agency has shown positive results lately in increase of accountability of public officials. Results will be even greater with strengthening and clarification of coordination of this agency with other institutions, by defining certain issues- like processing of certain penal acts related to investigation and their concretization.
Kosovo Police has increased its capacities and efficiency in investigation of cases of economic crimes and corruption. By now, police officials require training for investigation of complex corruptive acts.
Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo has undertaken measures by which they have empowered the role of Prosecution Offices in investigation of corruptive affairs. Internal capacities of Prosecution must be increased and high integrity standards of young Prosecutors must be kept. It is encouraging that State Prosecution has lately lodged a number of indictments which aim high level prosecution, which have hardly hit the Kosovo budget.
Kosovo Judicial Council has marked as priority reviewing of corruptive cases. Better planning of distribution of cases to the courts must be continued with, in order to lower the number of existing cases. We must also review the alternative methods for lowering of the accumulated cases, such as engagement of retired judges and overtime work for existing ones. In this field we will need the help of Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Finance, in order to support these measures which will help address the cases accumulated at courts.
Side by side with continuous work in fighting of corruption, we need to commence with building of concrete policies.
It is necessary to continue with systemic and structural reforms in order to approximate ourselves more with European Union standards.
We must increase efficiency of pursuing of corruptive cases, from the reporting of thereof until the final verdict, by concluding cases and taking of adequate decisions. We will not allow our citizens who denounce corruptive cases become disappointed because of procedural delays or suffer revenge due to their courage to report such cases. For such a practice to exist in Kosovo in year 2015 is shameful.
Public prosecution and often non transparent practices remain a serious concern which holds hostage proper business development. New procurement law, which will include electronic procurement, shall be implemented next year. This law will increase transparency and accountability in this sensitive field.
We must have immediate and efficient control of all tendering parameters, in cases when irregularities are suspected. Handling of complaints in tendering procedures must be immediate and effective.
In mid and long term plan, it is necessary to intensify the fighting of corruption in healthcare and education, two main pillars in improvement of the living standard of the citizens of Kosovo and in building of a more hopeful perspective. It is unforgivable for us to allow these two fields to be destroyed by corruption. Let us remember that thus we shall deny the right to adequate healthcare and education to our children.
Fighting of corruption in these two fields must be a priority of our institutions.
Corruption transcends the local borders and becomes transnational; we must prevent it by declaring our property and wealth and by investigating the origin of this wealth. We must increase the practice of payments through bank transaction and to work more in Kosovos membership in international organisations in the fields of justice and security.
Fighting of corruption is a long journey, which has no other alternative. Challenges in this field must be transgressed by an unshaken will and dedication.