Corruption, unemployment top issues for Kosovars – UNDP

Unemployment and corruption are the most serious problems for Kosovars, as most consider that the institutions’ anti-graft efforts have been ineffective, a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) showed.

corruption

Some 39% of Kosovo’s citizens perceive unemployment as a key issue, the special edition of the UNDP’s Public Pulse on Corruption report published last week indicated.

Kosovo has the highest jobless rate in Southeast Europe. In 2015, it dropped to 32.9% from 35.3% a year earlier, the latest labour force survey published by the country’s statistics agency showed.

According to the UNDP report, corruption is the most pressing problem for 18% of Kosovars.

This might be explained with the fact that the survey was conducted from March until May when the fight against corruption, as part of the fulfilment of criteria for visa liberalisation process, was very high on the agenda of the media and public opinion, the UNDP commented. In previous Public Pulse reports, corruption took more often the third place.

The majority of the respondents, 58%, believe that corruption levels have not changed over the last 12 months, compared to 31% who think they increased and 12% who take the view that corruption is on the decline.

In terms of satisfaction with institutional efforts in fighting corruption, the majority of the respondents, 64%, saw institutional actions as ineffective or very ineffective, whereas only 7% consider the measures taken as effective or very effective.

“In terms of perceptions of corruption amongst public sector employees, the majority of officials in both levels of governance are of the opinion that Kosovo’s civil service is riddled with ‘nepotism, favouritism and patronage’, ‘trading in influence’ and ’embezzlement (including time theft – not working required hours), theft and fraud’,“ the report found out.

Kosovo’s citizens see political parties, parliament, central-level institutions, judiciary and institutions in the health sector as the most corrupt institutions. On the opposite end, religious bodies and police are seen as the least corrupt institutions in the country.

According to 19.8% of the respondents, it is acceptable to give cash, make gift or extend favor in order to help solving one’s problem at a hospital, whereas 13.3% of the respondents do not see any problem in doing so in order to get a job. Such kind of practices undertaken to solve one’s problem with the police are frowned upon by 91.3% of the respondents.

The respondents were also asked about their overall perception of the direction of governance in Kosovo. Some 57% of the Kosovars think that Kosovo is going in the wrong direction, only 6% believe that things are headed in the right direction and 31% of all participants are of the opinion that things in Kosovo are staying the same.

Other problems identified by the survey respondents were Kosovo’s economic development, poverty, the general political situation and the poor performance of the central institutions.

The report analyses data collected through a general population survey with 1р300 respondents and 500 targeted interviews with representatives of Kosovo public institutions.

In 2015 Corruption Perception Index, elaborated by Transparency International, Kosovo, alongside Moldova, ranked the worst in Southeast Europe. It took the 103rd position, out of 168 analysed countries.

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1 November 2016

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