PACE unimpressed by Ukraine’s efforts to fight corruption
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] recently adopted its Resolution “Corruption as a Threat to the Rule of Law”. Ukraine is mentioned more than once and not in a positive light.
The state system in Ukraine remains steeped in corruption. The PACE used the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index to draw up its own perception index from among members of the Council of Europe. Ukraine is in bottom place, below Albania, Azerbaijan and Russia. According to the survey even those Ukrainians who have not personally suffered as the result of corruption are convinced that corruption is rampant.
Mailis Reps, the author of the Resolution told the Deutsche Welle Ukrainian Service that although Yanukovych made the fight against corruption one of the slogans in his presidential campaign, there has been no particular progress over the last few years.
She says that certain legislative efforts can be seen and that the fact that the existence of corruption is acknowledge is already a big step. On the other hand, there is virtually no evidence of practice measures.
As well as habitual trivial corruption where bribes are paid to the police, doctors, court staff, etc, in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe, corruption is also typical based on connections. She believes that this comes from Soviet times, but that Ukrainian politicians have this in mind when they promise to fight corruption, but rather bribe-taking.
Mailis Reps says that she concentrated her report on how corruption affects rule of law. She stresses that corruption can undermine the foundations of the court system, the Prosecutor’s Office’s activities as well as the public’s believe in law.
She says that there must be decent salaries for court staff, police, the tax administration and there must be a real risk of losing your salary and your pension if you are caught taking a bribe.
However she believes that the main motivating force would be personal example from MPs. They must begin with themselves and stop feeling above the law. She is convinced that the political initiative to fight corruption must come from parliament.
From a longer report on the