Pristina, 7 October 2018 – Executive power – The Government of the Republic of Kosovo continues the trend of taking unlawful decisions, thus taking on the powers and responsibilities of another power – the Assembly of Kosovo.
Fighting corruption in Kosovo continues to remain on paper in the top agendas of state institutions, but practically Kosovo institutions do not have a State Strategy and Action Plan for fighting corruption. This for the reason that the Government has approved the State Strategy and has ordered its implementation instead of passing it for voting in the Assembly of Kosovo, as defined by law.
In compliance with the legal obligations, the Anti-Corruption Agency had sent to the Government of Kosovo the Anti-Corruption State Strategy 2018-2022 and the Action Plan, which were approved by the Government at the meeting held on 23 March, 2018 through Decision No. 02/37.
The Government’s decision regarding the approval of the Anti-Corruption State Strategy 2018-2022 and the Action Plan defined that the decision enters into force on the day of signing, obliging the Anti-Corruption Agency and other competent institutions to enforce the decision.
The KLI estimates that the decision of the Government falls in contradiction with the mandate and powers of the Government of Kosovo, taking over the powers and responsibilities that by law belong to the Assembly of Kosovo. The Law on the Anti-Corruption Agency in Article 16 has defined that the Agency, in cooperation with the Government and other governmental and non-governmental institutions, drafts the Anti-Corruption Strategy. The Agency through the Government presents for approval the Anti-Corruption Strategy in the Assembly of Kosovo, a document containing the anti-corruption policies that should be implemented by the responsible institutions of the Republic of Kosovo both at central and local level.
The Government through an unlawful decision approved the Anti-Corruption State Strategy and ordered its implementation without being approved by the Assembly and sent the same decision to the Assembly of Kosovo. The latter, through the Legislation Committee, has returned the Government’s decision, assessing that the Government has implemented the powers of the Assembly and has requested that the decision be issued in accordance with the law in the Government and then sent for approval to the Assembly of Kosovo. The Government, since adopting this decision on March 2018, has not yet submitted to the Assembly the amended decision in accordance with the Law on Anti-Corruption Strategy and consequently the Republic of Kosovo for more than six months does not have an Anti-Corruption State Strategy.
The KLI estimates that this situation causes major damage, given the fact that the Anti-Corruption State Strategy should begin to be implemented in 2018, following approval by the Assembly of Kosovo, according to the procedures defined by law, and now we are almost at the end of 2018, and the same Strategy has not yet been processed in the Assembly of Kosovo according to legal obligations.
The Progress Report 2018 on Kosovo concluded that the Strategy and Action Plan against Corruption 2018-2022 was drafted following a consultative process and was adopted on March 2018. Further, it is said that the Government still needs to demonstrate real leadership, the ability to practice preliminary planning, and the will to allocate adequate resources for fight against corruption. Its credibility will depend on the resources allocated to their implementation. Also a monitoring mechanism should be established to regularly assess the impact of the strategy and action plan.
The Government of Kosovo by not proceeding this strategy according to legal requirements in the Assembly is proving that it continues with the unlawful exercise of powers and responsibilities by exercising powers and responsibilities belonging to the legislative power of the Assembly of Kosovo, as well as not addressing the European Union’s findings and requirements regarding the prevention and fight against corruption in Kosovo.
Such an access of the Government also contradicts with the will and purpose expressed by the Government through the approval of the same one to have access the “zero tolerance” to corruption, and to continue with other principles such as: Building of integrity, responsibility and transparency in the work of public administration bodies and strengthening the trust of citizens in public institutions; Improve legislation and strengthen institutional capacities for preventing and fighting corruption; and Awareness and education of the general public in the anti-corruption field.
Otherwise, the Anti-Corruption Agency on March 2017 decided to establish a technical working group for the development of the Strategy and Action Plan against Corruption 2018-2022. In drafting this strategy, in the working group participated the responsible institutions for fighting and preventing corruption and rule of law in Kosovo, including representatives of civil society and media, as well as consultations were conducted with external experts engaged by international partners in Kosovo.