€3.5 million to help fight corruption in BiH

The European Union is funding three new anti-corruption projects in the amount of nearly €3.5 million from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds, as part of ongoing EU support to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of rule of law.

Richard Máša, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH, highlighted that through this support 14 corruption prevention bodies in BiH will receive strategic, legal and operational support. “In the recently published TI Corruption Index 2018, BiH’s score is 38 out of 100 – revealing the country’s standstill in addressing flourishing corruption practices. The European Union provides BiH with a unique pool of expertise to curb corruption. However, such substantive investment becomes less meaningful (or even meaningless) if the political leadership and responsible authorities do not take resolute action to ensure a strong track record in fighting corruption and organised crime,“ said Máša.

The three projects, targeting different institutions from the public, private and civil society sectors, aim to strengthen and prolong the EU’s significant investment in anti-corruption measures in BiH. The project Institutional Support to Anti-Corruption – IPAK, worth €750,000 will assist anti-corruption and other institutions to strengthen the fight against corruption. Project Team Leader and senior anti-corruption expert Zoran Jachev pointed out that the project aims to ensure harmonised cooperation between the institutions, the private sector, civil society organisations, citizens and the media, in order to support and improve the implementation of anti-corruptive measures.

Isabelle Arnal, Team Leader and a French prosecutor specialising in serious crime, presented the €2.2 million-worth project EU4Justice, which will be implemented in partnership with Justice International Cooperation from France. Arnal noted that the project aims to enhance the efficiency of investigation and prosecution of serious corruption and organised crime cases through an intedisciplinary approach that requires close cooperation of all relevant stakeholders, because, as she pointed out, “The lack of cross-disciplinary work benefits only criminals“.

Transparency International will implement the project EU support against corruption in BiH, worth €500,000 to flag up corrupt practices in the health sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Emsad Dizdarević, TI Project Coordinator noted that the health sector is in dire need of assistance to improve integrity and transparency of the sector, the results of which will benefit the citizens of the country.