Session 4: Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships against Corruption
During a compelling panel discussion on the crucial need to fortify public-private partnerships against corruption, a diverse array of expert voices resonated, bringing forth insightful perspectives and experiences from Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, and Romania. Their collective message resonated with lawmakers and law enforcement, urging them to collaborate closely with civil society, academia, business, and the media to confront the pervasive, multifaceted, and long-term effects of corruption.
Echoing throughout the discussion was an ardent call from the experts for a unified public-private front against corruption. They emphasized the need to recognize the ever-changing landscape of corruption perceptions and the multifaceted challenges inherent in implementing effective anti-corruption strategies. The panel collectively underscored the critical role of the preventative measures, transparency, and collaborative efforts involving a diverse range of stakeholders. The international community and the EU were identified as essential partners, with requests for technical support and expertise to strengthen anti-corruption systems and methodologies. The discourse concluded with an overarching commitment to reinforce regional cooperation and tackle corruption holistically, not as a single point of intervention but through a strategic blend of action and prevention.
Highlights from the discussion
Boyko Todorov, Senior Associate Fellow, Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria
“If your house has a rodent problem, you can address it by setting traps, it might not get rid of all of them but still would be quite effective. But if your house is affected by cockroaches, then it doesn’t make much sense to take off your slipper and start chasing them around your kitchen counter. What you do is, you manage the environment: you starve them of food, of water, you maintain hygiene. What the strategy is, is to build certain nodes of resilience, certain nodes of integrity, and then connect them. So they can support each other, and they can find legitimacy in each other’s efforts”
Ferenc Bíró, President, Hungarian Integrity Authority
“Lack of values will inevitably result in a non-compliant behaviour. So, we believe that change must happen on a much deeper level within the society. We will need to recodify values to achieve that”
Aleksandra Vojinović, Secretary of the Council, Agency for Prevention of Corruption, Montenegro
“If we find real discrepancies between the lifestyle of public officials and the data that he or she reported to us, that cannot be of course explained, we refer this case to the special prosecutor’s office for further action”
Daniel Belingher, Head of Service for Implementing Structural Funds, Studies and Strategies, National Integrity Agency, Romania
“We have to switch the focus tо prevention. Because if we are doing anti- corruption, all our lives, probably it would be no better.”