Kosovans see political parties as most corrupt institution

Kosovans see political parties as most corrupt institution
By Dimitar Koychev in Sofia November 2, 2016

Kosovans consider political parties to be the most corrupt institution in the country, according to a special edition of the Public Pulse on Corruption. 

The survey showed a high level of dissatisfaction with the political situation in the country, with 56.9% of respondents saying they believed the country was going in the wrong direction compared to just 6% who thought it was moving in the right direction. 

“Increase in dissatisfaction with political parties and the Assembly of Kosovo is clearly a reflection of political turmoil witnessed in previous months, which is also ascertained by a decrease in satisfaction with the general political direction in Kosovo,” said the report, which was prepared in line with the research approach and methodology of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP’s) periodic Public Pulses.

When asked about the most important problem facing the Balkan country, 39% of respondents cited unemployment, whereas 18% chose corruption. According to 58% of those interviewed, the level of corruption in Kosovo has not changed over the last 12 months. Only 12% think that it has declined, whereas 31% believe that corruption has increased.

In previous surveys, corruption was ranked in third place, but in the latest report it was perceived as the second most important problem facing Kosovo, trailing only unemployment. 

The report’s authors speculated this could have been because fighting corruption was one of the main conditions set by the EU for visa liberalisation for Kosovans, though they also noted that the survey’s focus on corruption could have encouraged respondents to identify this as a paramount problem. Nonetheless, “it is clear that corruption is firmly rooted at the top of the pyramid of issues that are concerning citizens of Kosovo and that is closely correlated to the perceived lack of economic wellbeing,” the report said. 

The effort included a general population survey with 1300 respondents and 500 targeted interviews with representatives of Kosovo public institutions from all management levels. Furthermore, the study also includes validation data from four thematic focus groups.

As many as 64% of the respondents consider the institutions’ efforts to fight corruption “ineffective” or “very ineffective”. The share of people who believe these efforts are “effective” or “very effective” is just 7%.

The UNDP study also asked respondents to rank the prevalence of corruption across different sectors and institutions on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not prevalent, 5 = very prevalent).

The highest perceived prevalence was reported for the political parties (4.12), the parliament (3.96) and the central-level institutions (3.92). Religious bodies (2.45) and the police (2.76) were perceived as the least corrupt.