The EU, OECD and OGP Launch a New Program to Support Open Government Reform in Eastern Partnership Countries
The European Union (EU), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Open Government Partnership (OGP) announce a new assistance programme to support the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) advance and implement open reforms on the fight against corruption, integrity, open government and civic engagement: the EU for Integrity Programme.
The rule of law, functioning democratic institutions and an active civil society are crucial aspects of the democratic transformation of the Eastern Partnership countries. Although some progress has been achieved, corruption in the public and private sectors, enforcement of anti-corruption policies, entrenched political elites and interest groups holding back reforms and a shrinking civic space remain serious challenges across the region. The EU Joint Communication of March 2020 on the future of the Eastern Partnership policy beyond 2020 stresses the need to significantly ramp up the fight against corruption and organised crime, and the key role civil society can play.
To tackle these challenges and achieve better results, the EU for Integrity Programme will support the Eastern Partnership countries in implementing evidence-based anti-corruption policies, stepping up the enforcement of anti-corruption legislation by providing a set of anti-corruption performance indicators to monitor progress. Furthermore, the Programme will design and implement reforms to enable open, inclusive and responsive governments and citizen centred public service delivery through strengthening civic engagement and CSOs participation. The Programme marks the beginning of an important cooperation between the EU, the OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (OECD/ACN) and OGP.
“The EU for Integrity Programme marks the beginning of an important cooperation between the European Union, the OECD Anti-Corruption Network and the Open Government Partnership. Together, we will support the Eastern Partnership countries in their efforts in the areas of anti-corruption, civic engagement and public administration reform.” – Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, EU
“I would like to thank the EU, the Open Government Partnership and the partner countries for making this Programme a reality. It is an ambitious Programme and we will need to work hard to deliver. But the OECD stands with you to ensure that we do.” – Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
“Through the EU for Integrity Programme, we look forward to working together with the EU and OECD ACN to help our Eastern Partnership members accelerate and advance open government reforms that empower citizens, fight corruption and build more resilient, fair and inclusive societies in the region.” – Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership
The EU for Integrity Programme supports the prevention and combating of corruption while promoting integrity. It will develop an innovative method to measure results and promote reforms through anti-corruption performance indicators based on the OECD/ACN methodology. The Programme will also provide analysis, recommendations, and exchange of experience among anti-corruption, law-enforcement and business integrity practitioners.
Additionally, the Programme will scale up the support to governments and civil society, using OGP action plans to advance critical reforms and work with Eastern Partnership countries to implement them. The Programme will put special emphasis on finding more innovative approaches to addressing corruption, building regional thematic communities of practice, supporting civil society advocacy and coalition building efforts, and recognising and disseminating success stories.
The EU has committed €7 million to this initiative over a three-year period. To implement the EU for Integrity Programme, the European Commission, the OECD and OGP will work closely together and in full coordination with the EU delegations in the region and the relevant authorities of the Eastern Partnership countries.