The GRECO Group of States Against Corruption in the Council of Europe published its latest evaluation of Macedonia, which concluded that the criminal justice system has not succeeded in fighting corruption.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office has not gone after systemic high profile cases or politically connected cases of corruption, the report, published through the Justice Ministry, notes.

Although the Special Prosecutor’s Office formed several cases of high level corruption which originate from the wiretapping scandal, prosecutors generally don’t initiate systemic cases of high profile corruption and politically sensitive cases. It is considered that progress in this area will depend strongly on whether the judiciary in the country can begin to operate independently and without bias, GRECO notes in its report.

GRECO also found that there is lack of capacity in the public sector to tackle corruption. Appointments in the public sector were marred by political interference and ethnic favoritism. Appointments in the police are seen as politically driven. Nepotism and conflict of interest in the public sector were not countered appropriately, GRECO adds in its evaluation. The Macedonian media, which should serve as an early warning system in cases of corruption, are not free.