The Macedonian government is the most open and transparent in the Western Balkans region, a survey published by Skopje-based foundation Metamorphosis indicated on July 4.
The Regional Openness Index was created within the framework of the regional network Action SEE, which is a Western Balkans citizens organizations’ initiative. The last survey on the openness, accountability and transparency of institutions in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia was conducted in the period from December 2017 until the end of February 2018. This is the second such survey.
The survey showed that the openness index of the Macedonian government was 75.61%, considerably up from 52.34% a year earlier.
The Social Democrat-led government under Prime Minister Zoran Zaev came on power at the end of May 2017, following a deep political crisis in the country, ending the 10-year rule of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE.
The openness index measures the level of openness of the Western Balkan governments towards citizens and society, and was created in order to define to what extent the citizens of the region receive convenient and understandable information from the government institutions. The first measurement was conducted from December 2016 until February 2017.
Only Macedonia registered an improvement on the index while the indices of the other five countries in the Western Balkans showed a declining tendency.
Macedonia is followed by Montenegro, whose openness index fell to 68.94% from 81.8%. Serbia is on the third place with an index of 56.66% slightly down from 58.97% in the previous survey.
Albania is fourth with an openness index of 54.92% compared to 57.94% a year earlier. Bosnia’s index dropped significantly to 45.9% from 60.66%.
Kosovo is ranked on the last place with an index of 41.29%, falling sharply from 60.82%.
“There is great progress also in all ministries of the Macedonian government,” minister without portfolio Robert Popovski said in a government statement issued after the announcement of the results of the survey.
The index also measures the openness of the ministries, with Macedonia now in third place, behind Montenegro and Serbia.
According to the minister, the Macedonian government is strongly committed to pursue transparent, accountable and responsible governance and will strive to achieve even better results in the next survey, which will be conducted at the beginning of next year.