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ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES: OVERVIEW EFFICIENCY IN TERMS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION

Formulation of the problem

For the second year in Ukraine, there is no key strategic document in the field of prevention and fight against corruption. In such circumstances, anti-corruption institutions act in an unbalanced and ineffective manner, while other state and local self-government bodies carry out those anti-corruption measures that they deem appropriate (at an intuitive level) or do not take any measures at all in this area [1, p. 16]

In such circumstances, it is extremely urgent to develop and implement as soon as possible a system of effective anti-corruption measures that meet the current challenges of the situation in which our country has found itself.

Analysis of recent research and publications

In general, the topics chosen for the analysis are not only new to administrative science but also to other branches of the legal field. Most scholars consider this question in a particular plane – in terms of the needs of their scientific research.

 For example:

– B. Kostenko [2] reveals the peculiarities of implementation of the European standards for prevention and fight against corruption in national legislation;

– A. Sukharina [3] analyzes the opinions of Ukrainians on domestic corruption;

– M. Khavroniuk [1] studies the effectiveness of the implementation of the state anti-corruption policy.

However, neither these scientists nor other administrators who analyzed similar issues directly studied it, but focused their attention on other, relevant issues.

Formulating the goals of the article

The purpose of this study is to uncover a system of effective anti-corruption measures that meet European standards and are necessary for implementation (modification) in Ukraine.

Outline of the main research material

Analyzing the provisions of Article 5 of the UN Convention against Corruption [4], which came into force for Ukraine on January 1, 2010, the main measures for implementing anti-corruption policy are the implementation of anti-corruption legislation, as well as ensuring an effective, coordinated and transparent system of work of anti-corruption institutions [5, p. 11]. In general, we consider it necessary to emphasize that the United Nations Convention against Corruption [4], adopted by UN Resolution 58/4 in October 2003, is a balanced, strong and pragmatic instrument that has formed the basis for effective action and international cooperation. It contains a number of standards, measures and norms that can be applied by all countries to strengthen their legal regimes against corruption. It calls for preventive and legislative measures that would result in the most widespread forms of corruption in both the public and private sectors being categorized as criminal offenses [2, p. 14].

However, it should be noted that in our view, the dominance of preventive anti-corruption measures is unjustified, since our state cannot, by virtue of its fragile position, combat corruption without repressive measures. We are convinced that only the dualistic nature of public administration’s anti-corruption activities will have a positive response. For our country, there are six particularly important aspects that are equally crucial to tackling widespread corruption in Ukraine.

 Corruption can be effectively addressed by ensuring:

✔ an organization of the state that would provide a system of checks and balances by splitting and blocking powers;

✔ professional ethics in the public sector;

✔ independence of the judiciary;

✔ freedom and pluralism of the press as a fourth power;

✔ deconcentration of economic power and its influence on politics;

✔ active civil society, the development of which, however, is largely dependent on previous aspects [6].

However, the development of democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine and the reduction of systemic corruption are possible only if all these six conditions are strictly observed. This is of particular importance to the economy as corruption reduces the growth potential due to the misallocation of resources. This does not mean that there are no serious corruption problems in the EU either; quite the opposite, first, because corruption always exists where there is money and money and power go in pairs. However, it is important that corruption-related offenses can be freed by the press, investigated by independent prosecutors, and sentenced by offenders by independent judges. In the presence of these six elements, it is possible to at least curb systemic corruption that affects the daily life of the entire population [6]. Global administrative reforms are needed to implement this. And it is not just a normatively fixed list of the plan of actions of authorized entities – it is a systematic change of the whole state apparatus of public administration, rethinking the role of the state and society and their interaction, as well as laying the foundation of global transformations in the field of public-private and cross-border partnership.

 Transparency, accountability, integrity are the three pillars of anti-corruption policy. These are fundamental principles that must be adhered to in order to reduce corruption in both the public and private sectors.

Unfortunately, each of them cannot boast of positive achievements of their observance. Such a conclusion would be logical if we take a look at the results of the National Anti-Corruption Survey conducted by the Public Participation Assistance Program “Join!” with the support of USAID, where respondents believe that corruption is one of the top three problems in Ukraine, with political corruption at the highest level posing the greatest threat: 92.5% of citizens said it. Household corruption, which respondents face in their daily lives, is seen as a less serious problem (81.6%). Corruption in the business environment is considered a serious problem by 72.4 % of respondents [5;7]. Accordingly, in Ukraine, transparency, accountability and integrity are the normative principles of good governance, but they are not valid. It’s the slogan on the paper. However, this is not surprising, because in its pure form, they encompass ideas that are contrary to the abuse of power. These ideas include openness, responsiveness, responsibility, discipline and ethics. Their separate component is the right to vote of the people and active participation of the public in various state-making processes. At the same time, transparency can lead to accountability if officials, on their own moral and ethical convictions, are made aware of responsibility for their behavior not through fear of criminal punishment (which, incidentally, is also absent in Ukraine, since both the judicial system and the prosecutor’s office are corrupt ), and based on socially recognized norms of morality. Accordingly, what are the current anti-corruption measures implemented by the state in the person of its authorized representatives? It is logical that those provided by the current legislation. Due to the fact that the provisions of the draft Anti-Corruption Strategy remained unaddressed in 2018 by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, due to the considerable time since its submission to the Parliament, it would be logical to conclude that the main anti-corruption measures implemented today are which were not implemented during the period of the Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014-2017, and the Programme’s implementation measures that remained unfulfilled [5]. As we can see, the current state of anti-corruption policy and its implementation measures are extremely unsatisfactory.

Among the urgent we consider it necessary:

– in the field of combating political corruption – strengthening the activities of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption:

  • ensuring its effective functioning by changing the model of this body and enhancing its institutional capacity;
  • ensuring the effectiveness of measures aimed at obtaining complete, objective and reliable data on the state of corruption in Ukraine;
  • ensuring effective functioning of authorized persons (authorized units) on the prevention and detection of corruption;
  • improvement of legislation on the prevention and settlement of conflicts of interest in the activities of persons authorized to perform the functions of the state or local self-government and persons equal to them;
  • increasing the level of efficiency and effectiveness of detection of facts of violation of the requirements of the legislation on prevention and settlement of conflict of interests;
  • uniform interpretation and application of legislation by law enforcement agencies;
  • raising the level of knowledge of the requirements of the legislation on the prevention and settlement of conflicts of interest, the formation of skills in the right behavior in different situations in life;
  • ensuring proper legal regulation of the protection of whistleblowers in accordance with international standards;
  • ensuring the ability of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and other specially authorized entities in the field of combating corruption to guarantee the state protection of convicts [8].

– in the area of ​​combating domestic corruption:

  • conducting an information campaign to clarify the nature of corruption and non-corruption (an example of a good implementation of the information campaign is the promotion of the Prozorro public procurement system), especially in the eastern and central regions;
  • showing successful reform cases that resulted in the disappearance or minimization of corruption in the case of the common individual, with mandatory localization in settlements in different regions of the state;
  • open coverage of the trials of suspects charged with serious corruption crimes [3].

– in the business environment:

  • at the state level: involvement of business in anti-corruption policies, support of these policies by senior government, search for a new elite who can put these policies into practice;
  • at the level of the business environment: adoption of internal corporate policy at the level of an individual company, compliance program, introduction of an internal control system, a special position in a company to counteract corruption, forming a culture of non-acceptance of corruption within the company at the level of top managers and other employees;
  • at the level of associations: joint promotion of anti-corruption principles of doing business and defending their interests [9, p. 7].

Conclusions and prospects

The conducted research convincingly shows that the developed and current system of anti-corruption measures is a comprehensive representation of the state’s attitude to corruption manifestations in its territory, as well as beyond its borders in the framework of cross-border cooperation. Ukraine’s intentions to eradicate corruption are twofold. At least among the ruling elite and some representatives of the political will. On the one hand – from TV screens, print and electronic media, the authorities actively promote zero tolerance for any manifestations of abuse of power, and on the other – their active use for their own purposes. The reforms required by the European Union from Ukraine in the context of integration are socially necessary and desirable by the society. However, without a complete restructuring of the apparatus of state power and a change in the mentality and stereotypical thinking of Ukrainians about the need to present a gift for committing administrative action in their favor, corruption will flourish actively. Accordingly, long-standing membership of the European Union will continue to be delayed.

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