Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski highlighted at the “Transparency and Accountability: A Perfect Pair for Restoring Confidence in Public Institutions” conference, organized by the Institute of Communication Studies, that according to the Center for Civil Communications, the Government’s transparency index has shown a significant improvement. He noted that in 2016, the government had a transparency rate of 25 percent, which has since risen consistently, reaching and maintaining 100 percent in the last two years.

Kovachevski emphasized the growth in active transparency across all institutions. He cited figures stating that the total active transparency for all institutions in 2023 stands at 76 percent, compared to 63 percent in 2021 and a mere 45 percent in 2016.

He specifically highlighted the impressive transparency achievements of various ministries, noting the Ministry of Defense at 100 percent, the Finance Ministry at 98.1 percent, and the Ministry of Health at 91.3 percent.

However, Zhaneta Trajkoska, the head of the Institute of Communication Studies, addressed the issue of public trust in institutions. She mentioned that Parliament, political parties, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office have relatively low trust ratings of 2.5, 2.7, and 2.8 percent respectively. Trajkoska also indicated that the courts are at 2.4 percent, the lowest among the institutions, while the Army enjoys the highest level of trust among citizens.

Furthermore, Trajkoska highlighted disappointing perceptions of the accountability of state bodies. She pointed out that there’s a common belief among participants in the study that officials often provide excuses for inappropriate behavior. Only one percent of surveyed citizens believe that Members of Parliament consistently prioritize citizen interests.

The UK Ambassador to Macedonia, Matthew Lawson, expressed the UK’s full commitment to supporting the Government’s efforts in combating corruption and ensuring increased transparency. He emphasized the detrimental impact of corruption on democracy and transparency, stating that it significantly reduces trust in public institutions. Lawson highlighted the UK’s collaborations with various institutions in Macedonia through their programs in the judicial and civil sectors as part of their commitment to addressing these challenges.