It was painful to watch even if it was wrong. For an entire day, a young man wearing a white mask sat at the most frequent spot in Sarajevo’s largest shopping mall and shredded counterfeit 200 convertible mark (US $ 125) bills.
His task in this anti-corruption performance that began on Wednesday was to destroy a total of three million marks ($ 1.87 million), which is the amount experts estimate lost every day to corruption in Bosnia. -Herzegovina.
The bypassers continued to press a red button – symbolically hissing corruption – forcing him to stop shredding more stapled banknotes next to him and although he would continue after a while, the citizens still managed to save nearly one-third of the money that was supposed to be destroyed that day.
‘Whistle for the end‘is the first major part of the public awareness campaign organized under the auspices of the regional project’ Breaking the Silence: Enhancing the whistleblowing policies and culture in Western Balkans and Moldova ‘funded by the European Union and implemented by the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative Secretariat (RAI).
RAI is working to strengthen the legislative and institutional framework for the protection of whistleblowers, in accordance with the new EU Directive on their protection.
Anti-corruption expert and RAI project manager Elmerina Ahmetaj Hrelja thinks it’s possible to whistle for the end, just by saying no to corruption.
âThis gesture will show us how much money we can save from destruction, only when we do not agree to participate in corruption,â she said while presenting the event.
The Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) Secretariat is a regional intergovernmental organization that deals exclusively with anti-corruption issues, providing a common platform for dialogue, knowledge exchange and anti-corruption best practices in South East Europe.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina warned in November that the judicial response to cases of high corruption in the country remained too weak.
The head of the mission, Kathleen Kavalec, then underlined that âthe restoration of integrity, impartiality and accountability within the justice system is a necessary precondition for a more effective judicial response to corruptionâ.
At the same time, the Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Johann Sattler, stressed that widespread corruption in the public sphere, and its close link with crime organized, is “one of the most difficult problems Bosnia and Herzegovina faces today.” “
The country’s deeply complicated political system, which was negotiated to end the bloody war of 1992-95, left the Balkan nation of 3.5 million people with a huge administration, a poor economy, and an overcrowded justice system. and ineffective – fertile ground for corruption and organized crime. .
According to Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2020, the country has dropped 10 places and now ranks 111th on a list of 180 countries.