Effective prevention of conflict of interest in the public sector is essential to strengthen the prevention of corruption and to restore the public’s trust in its governing institutions.
The fight against corruption is at the forefront of the EU’s efforts to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s road to stability, prosperity and full integration into the EU, but this requires active participation of government institutions. The EU continues to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina to build anti-corruption capacities with more than EUR 8 million in the past 5 years supporting institutions and civil society in this fight. Corruption remains prevalent in many areas and continues to be a serious problem with no quantifiable results. On its path to the EU, BiH needs to show determination to counter and eradicate corrupt practices.
The current system for the prevention of conflict of interest at the state level has not functioned adequately since 2013. Since then, a number of elected officials and local experts have maintained the need to strengthen the law. At this moment, legislative authorities of BiH have a chance to transpose their declarative commitments into action by putting an end to conflict of interest.
Swift adoption of the new law on the conflict of interest, which is currently blocked in the House of Representatives Constitutional and Legal Committee, is an opportunity to send a clear message to both the citizens of BiH and the international community, that the elected representatives of the people of BiH are committed to building society with equal chances for all.
The European Union calls upon BiH authorities to build a legislative and institutional framework capable to address all environments where corruption can hide and prosper. Fighting corruption is key for a positive Commission’s Opinion on the country’s path to EU accession.