BELGRADE – The activities to reduce the corruption of the border police in the new Action Plan for Chapter 24 should be in line with the corruption risk analysis.
On May 25, 2018, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) organized consultations with representatives of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Customs Administration in the framework of the National Convention on the European Union (NCEU) on the first version of the revised Action Plan for Chapter 24, with an emphasis on reducing corruption in the border police and internal control.
The measure from the revised Action Plan for Chapter 24 regarding the improvement of the fight against corruption at the border, according to BCSP researcher Saša Djordjević, is not precise.
“The deadline, the necessary funds and the source of funding have not been established for the implementation of activities. The indicator of results is imprecise and does not mean anything because it is emphasized, without any explanation, that the results of conducting this activity are consultations with the Anti-Corruption Agency and the improvement of the internal control system,” Djordjević pointed out.
Assistant Minister of Interior and Head of the Sector for international cooperation, EU affairs and planning Zoran Lazarov said that this is only the first version of the revised Action Plan for Chapter 24 and that there is still fixing to be done, and that it is important to recognize all the imprecisions as soon as possible so that they are corrected.
There is no complete analysis of the state of the fight against corruption in the border police in the first version of the revised Action Plan for Chapter 24, said Djordjević.
“It is good that the situation analysis mentions all documents related to the integrity of the border police that have been adopted so far. However, there is a lack of analysis of the effects and changes that have followed as a result of the implementation of these documents, such as the corruption risk analysis in the border police. In addition, no new trends that resulted from closing the Hungarian border and finding a new alternative route to Western Europe via Romania have been taken into account. The problem is not just smuggling, but also the use of forged Serbian or Bulgarian passports,” Djordjević emphasized.
Representative of the Ministry of Interior, Radiša Ristović, disagreed with the assessment that the new route towards Western Europe via Romania poses a significant risk to corrupt behavior, because it is a very small number of crossings. However, he agrees with the opinion that the situation analysis did not fully describe the risks of corruption in the border police, and reiterated that this is only the first working version of the revised Action Plan.
BCSP researcher Saša Djordjević recommended that activities in the Action Plan for Chapter 24 should represent responses to the corruption risk analysis in the border police, which the Ministry of Interior made last year. So the problem really is solved, Đorđević concluded.