Case Study (2014): Making election campaign finances public in Croatia
Transparency in the flow of money in politics means a more informed voting public, which consequently strengthens the democratic process. Croatia’s legislative framework is deemed to be one of the best among the Balkan countries. Political parties are required to disclose detailed financial reports on political campaigns during the campaign period, and also open a separate bank account for all financial transactions related to election campaigns to facilitate monitoring. State oversight agencies are elected by parliament and are relatively independent with far- reaching powers. Both political parties and donors can be punished in case of Act violations.
But it is common wisdom that the existence of a stellar law does not guarantee its implementation. Croatia’s membership to the Ogp gave civil society organizations a further window of opportunity to push for improvements in the law that would see it materialize in practice. One of the new provisions included in the OGP Action plan is to make all the information on election campaign financing available to the public through a searchable database.