After joining EU, Croatia lost political will to fight corruption

On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, observed on December 9, the nongovernmental election-monitoring organisation GONG on Friday warned that after it joined the European Union, a lack of a true political will for fighting corruption at all levels was evident in Croatia.

GONG council president Nenad Zakosek told a news conference held outside parliament that corruption can be suppressed by building good institutions, consistently implementing the laws and electing officials with integrity.

Croatia made progress in building such institutions especially in the process of joining the European Union, which included setting up mechanism for conflict of interest prevention and securing access to information. However, after it joined the bloc, Croatia has lost enthusiasm for fighting corruption and things have moved in the negative direction, Zakosek said.

He singled out the decision to back out of a legal solution for lobbying and the adoption of a code of conduct for government members right at the time of the collapse of the Agrokor food conglomerate and the non-transparent adoption of Lex Agrokor.

GONG executive director Jelena Berkovic said citizens were used to the misconduct by local power-mongers.