Last week in Skopje, the Regional Policy Forum discussed the subject ”The Fight Against Corruption: The Western Balkans in Focus”. The panel agreed on the importance of battling corruption of the Western Balkan countries. The Head of Unit DG NEAR for Thematic Support – Rule of Law, Governance and Security, Allan Jones explained that the EU is putting much more focus on raising the awareness of corruption in different sectors – whether education, customs, transport or energy. He also made the point that this requires political will which is essential for combating corruption.
But how then can the Euro-Atlantic partners help the Western Balkans in this battle?
The president of the Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis – Skopje, Marko Troshanovski answered that ”The immediate start of accession of North Macedonia and Albania is an imperative, but also a credible prospect of EU enlargement of the region, as well.” According to Troshanovski, a lot of evidence points out that countries perform better when being under political pressure.
He also believes that the European Commission and the European Council should include the region in the EU rule of law mechanism as soon as possible. 30 billion euros were made on disposal to the region on a 7 year period through the EU economic and investment plan, which, as he says, is a huge amount of money that will enter the region.