The Media Center held a discussion on the corruption in Armenia and EU Partnership countries in 2015. The speakers included Varuzhan Hoktanyan, Executive Director at Transparency International Anti-Corruption and Marat Atovmyan, Member of the Armenian Young Lawyers Association.
“From a corruption perspective, all the five countries have three main challenges to address: limited checks and balances on the executive power, politicized and ineffective judicial system and restrictions on civil society. With respect to civil society, the main focus is on Azerbaijan because Armenia and the other countries are in a better condition,” Hoktanyan said, adding that it is the national integrity system assessment. “In Georgia, the report says, the legislative power lacks strong parliamentary control. Recently, the Georgian Government has refused to respond to the lawmakers and it is a common thing now.”
Armenia ranks 94th among 174 countries according to the Global Corruption Barometer, Marat Atovmyan said.
“The report reads that the major challenges Armenia currently has are oligarchs, underground economy, as well as patronage cases,” Atovmyan said. “82 percent of Armenians believe corruption is a serious problem in the public sector, and only 21 percent of respondents say that the Government makes great and serious efforts to fight corruption. The political and business fields are not that transparent and accountable. As for the judiciary, 70 percent believe it is not independent from the executive power.”
Atovmyan believes the tax environment in Armenia is not favorable for the development of civil society and the Anti-Corruption Council is not an effective tool to fight corruption. “It is high time Armenia had a well-established and independent anti-corruption agency. The fight against corruption includes not only the detection of corruption cases but anti-corruption education, revelation of corruption schemes and consistency.”
Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator
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