Meyer: North Macedonia to demonstrate it is sick of corruption
Representatives of 36 public enterprises from the Skopje, Polog, Pelagonia and the Eastern statistical regions signed Wednesday a declaration on anti-corruption practices and policies in public enterprises at an event in Skopje.
Skopje, 20 September 2023 (MIA) – Representatives of 36 public enterprises from the Skopje, Polog, Pelagonia and the Eastern statistical regions signed Wednesday a declaration on anti-corruption practices and policies in public enterprises at an event in Skopje.
The declaration is a part of a project aimed at improving the corruption reporting environment in state-owned enterprises, realized with financial support from the Embassy of the United States in North Macedonia.
US Embassy Charge d'Affaires, Eric Meyer, in his address to the signatories, said there is a tendency when speaking about corruption to refer to it as a disease or a sickness, which, he stressed, it is not.
“You can be a little bit sick, you cannot be a little corrupt. When describing the damage that corruption does to society, we tend to speak in terms of how it undermines institutions or holds back progress. It does not. Corruption is a wrecking ball that destroys everything in its path. A wrecking ball is indiscriminate in the harm that it causes. Petty corruption causes just as much damage to the pillars of society as large scale corruption,” said Meyer.
Meyer said it is up to the people of North Macedonia to stop tolerating any level of corruption from their politicians, their civil servants, business leaders and themselves.
“The millions of dollars that the United States, the European Union and partner nations invest in anti-corruption efforts and programs like this one that we are here to talk about today cannot solve North Macedonia’s problems without you. We continue to support North Macedonia’s efforts but the solution lies with you. North Macedonia is not sick with corruption, it’s a healthy, capable and strong nation that is on the precipice of a greater and more secure future in the European community, yet one that needs to demonstrate that it is sick of corruption,” said the US Embassy Charge d'Affaires.
According to Meyer, by choosing to accept a certain level of corruption, the people of North Macedonia run the risk of sabotaging their own prosperity and prospects for future generations.
“Corruption is a choice. You all made a choice to be here today, and by choosing to sign this declaration, you are committing to be a part of the solution. Not just a little committed, but fully and always committed. I applaud the choice that you made today and I urge the leaders of this country and the people to choose what is best for North Macedonia,” said Meyer.
The goal of the project is to encourage an environment for reporting corruption through the Law on Whistleblower Protection.
As part of the project, in a period of 3 years, since 2020, 44 public enterprises have been analyzed, with the conclusion that only three public enterprises have received whistleblower reports about corrupt activities.
The majority of the enterprises don’t fulfill the technical standards, only 19 of 44 public enterprises have a person in charge of receiving whistleblowers, while as many as 60 percent of them don’t have their own website.