The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) published on Tuesday the Fifth Evaluation Round Compliance Report for Macedonia. It concluded that Macedonia has satisfactorily implemented four of the 23 recommendations contained in the Fifth Round Evaluation Report, while of the remaining recommendations, nine have been partly implemented and ten have not been implemented, MIA reports from Strasbourg.

According to the report, giving the implementation of the Code of Conduct into the hands of the Deputy Prime Minister who has the authority to investigate and sanction violations and at the same time should provide confidential counseling and gathering evidence for violations of the Code, is not acceptable and is not compatible with the GRECO practice. Moreover, what is also worrying is the persistent absence of integrity risk assessments and regular assessments of the impact of integrity measures in the central government. Although the budget of the Anti-Corruption Commission has significant financial resources, it is still not fully operational and can not properly perform its duties under the laws currently in force. There are also concerns about the significant number of conflicts of interest and cases of disclosure of assets involving persons holding the highest executive functions, processed by the Anti-Corruption Commission. Furthermore, no adequate analysis of the practical application of sanctions for conflicts of interest and other breaches of integrity appears to have been conducted, nor has this sanctioning regime been revised to ensure that it meets the preconditions for effectiveness, proportionality and discouragement.

Regarding to law enforcement agencies (police), it is positive that information on the budget, activities, decisions, administrative procedures and public procurement of the Public Security Bureau – one of the most secretive government structures – has become more accessible on the Internet. GRECO also welcomes the extensive involvement of police personnel at various levels, trade unions and civil society in the development of the new Code of Ethics for the police force.

GRECO notes that further progress is needed to demonstrate an acceptable level of compliance with the recommendations in the next 18 months. In accordance with its Rules of Procedure, GRECO invites the head of the Macedonian Delegation to submit additional information regarding the implementation of the unfulfilled recommendations by September 30, 2022.