Online discussion meeting: State Capture Diagnostics and Monitoring for Improving the Rule of Law in the EU

Novel analytical and monitoring tools for assessing state capture and corruption risks have been developed by numerous organizations across Europe but they have been very slowly adopted by the public institutions responsible for the fight against corruption and financial frauds on both national and EU level. The same applies for the implementation of open data and interoperability standards in important public IT systems, such as public procurement, integrity registers, etc. Similarly, journalistic investigations concerning domestic or international cases of suspected grand corruption and large misuse of public money very rarely have come under the scrutiny of law enforcement authorities. The reasons could be very different but one should be highlighted – many local, national and even European institutions do not have the necessary administrative and professional capacity to implement legally complex, technologically sophisticated and often – cross-border, investigations. Thus, the European union need to further develop its capabilities to work together with the relevant stakeholders, incl. civil society organisations, researchers and investigative journalists, and moreover – to speed up the accommodation of novel approaches and data-driven monitoring tools into the design and implementation of its polices.

These were some of the conclusions from the online meeting and discussion, held on 26 March 2020, with participation of experts on state capture and anti-corruption, which shared their experience on using new approaches, based on big-data analytics, media monitoring, expert-opinion and investigative journalism.

The meeting featured presentations by Todor Galev, Senior analyst at the Economic Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Karolis Granickas, Senior program manager at Open Contracting Partnership, Mihaly Fazekas, Assistant professor at the Central European University, School of Public Policy, Atila Biro, investigative journalist at RISE project and OCCRP member, and Sorin Ionita, President of Expert Forum.

The discussion was enriched by the interventions of Bart Sheffers, Expert on anti-corruption and public sector integrity, Radu Cotici, Senior Anti-Corruption Adviser at the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Martin Tsanov, Founder of Bizportal.

The participants underlined that the modern technology is still not used efficiently in order to ensure transparency and accountability of the public policies and spending, and further efforts by CSOs and policy-makers are necessary to unlock its potential. They invited governments to publish open data, engage stakeholders in monitoring and improve their internal policies. The speakers noted that public procurement and governance of state owned enterprises should be regarded as particularly risky areas, and hence more efforts must be directed towards the development and introduction of relevant policy tools and instruments allowing for better evidence-driven decision making.



Video recordings of the separate presentations and the discussion are available below:


Presentation by Todor Galev - Developing a three-dimensional approach for assessing state capture and corruption risks
Presentation by Karolis Granickas - Open Standards as a Tool for Improving the Integrity of Public Procurement Process in the EU
Presentation by Mihaly Fazekas - State capture and defence procurement in the EU. Overview and high-level insights
Presentation by Atila Biro - The Role of Investigative Journalism for Countering Corruption
Presentation by Sorin Ionita and Laura Ștefan - Measuring Clientelism in State Owned Enterprise. Anti-fraud Measures in Public Procurement in the EU Single Market
Discussion session