North Macedonia is Drowning in Corruption: The US had to send a Special Team to Skopje
North Macedonia is at a crossroads and must choose whether to move forward, deal decisively with corruption, or allow corruption schemes to take root even more, said EU Ambassador to Skopje David Geer.
According to Geer, the fight against corruption must first of all take place through state institutions, they must reduce the space for corruption - through laws and codes of conduct, incentives to promote services and serious sanctions for corrupt behavior.
"This means that when someone starts an illegal construction on land that is not theirs, the prosecution will step in and the court will react quickly, regardless of who that person is and how influential they are," Geer said.
He emphasized that through reforms the key systems for public procurement and financial management in the country should be strengthened, greater transparency and development of the capacity of state institutions for audit and anti-corruption, for partnership with business and an opportunity for professional media that to follow the highest standards.
Geer added that Brussels has invested so far and will continue to invest heavily in the country, but concrete results are expected from North Macedonia and it will be monitored throughout the EU membership negotiation process.
A team from the US will investigate corruption in North Macedonia
"Recent disturbing reports show that the corruption situation in North Macedonia is worsening. Corruption undermines the rule of law, creates distrust in the judicial system and weakens public institutions. It is vitally important that you deal with this and the UK stands by North Macedonia in this process," British Ambassador to North Macedonia Matthew Lawson wrote on his official Twitter account this week.
On December 6, the new US ambassador to North Macedonia, Angela Aggeler, announced that an American team had arrived in Skopje "to look more aggressively at past and present corrupt actors" in socio-political life, and the justice sector in North Macedonia "is needs more investigations and prosecutions to show that no one is above the law”.
"While on the road to the EU, corruption continues to hinder North Macedonia's progress, slowing economic growth and encouraging the country's most talented young people to seek opportunities abroad," Aggeler said.
"All the indications and recommendations that were received were not taken seriously, and that is why this is happening to us with the sanctions team from Washington, which will investigate corruption in the country", said at a press conference on Friday, the chairperson of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption in the country, Bilyana Ivanovska.
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