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That it is the enforcement of anticorruption policies which needs to be prioritised is now de rigueur in the anticorruption community. This received wisdom, however, has not been followed up by the development of advanced tools for monitoring this enforcement. Both policies and measurements of corruption have remained at the general societal level, with little focus on specific loci, actors or circumstances. In order to upgrade its effectiveness, the anticorruption effort needs to concentrate on the most appropriate level – the individual public organisation.

This is exactly what the Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) – a tool recently developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy and University of Trento experts – allows policy makers to achieve. It is an instrument for a complete anticorruption overhaul of public organisations by taking stock of the effectiveness of institutional policies and their relevance to actual corruption vulnerabilities within the organisation.

On June 12, 2015 MACPI was presented in Brussels to an audience of senior civil servants from the European Commission and other EU institutions, representatives of NGOs and diplomatic missions, and academics. The event also served as an EU-wide platform to present the results of the pilot implementation of MACPI in Bulgaria and Italy.

„Innovative research is needed to support the work of the European Commission in the development of evidence-based anticorruption policy.“ These were the opening lines of Ms. Anabela Gago, Head of the Organised Crime Unit at the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs at the policy forum on anticorruption enforcement. Ms. Gago highlighted that the 2014 EU Anticorruption report evidenced that in most EU member states anti-corruption legislation is in place, but implementation is not as effective as required. In this regard, she recognized that the development of a practical tool for monitoring anti-corruption enforcement is welcomed as it can be adapted to the situations in various countries and institutions.

Dr. Alexander Stoyanov, Director of Research at CSD, underlined that the MACPI tool’s main advantage is that it allows evaluators and policy designers to gain an insight into the arguably key factor for the success or failure of anticorruption efforts: the processes and implementation procedures in public organisations. He also noted that a shift of focus from the national to the institutional level will benefit the EU anticorruption efforts as well. The significance of the public institution level in anticorruption has been recognised in the EU Anticorruption Report, which acknowledges that corruption can be reduced by preventive systems and practices involving the suppliers and recipients of public services.

Prof. Andrea di Nicola from University of Trento added that in the case of Italy the MACPI tool came at a time when there was overproduction of anticorruption efforts and no instruments to steer and guide public officials how to apply these measures. He also highlighted that the development of the tool was an innovative exercise, during which anticorruption theories were tested and put into action. During the implementation phase, they were surprised by the openness of public officials. This can be explained with the fact that the tool is adapted to the organisations’ needs in close cooperation with the officials and they perceived it not as a top-down imposed measure, but as a tailor-made instrument. Dr. Fabrizio Costantino of the University of Trento illustrated these conclusions by making a brief review of the results of MACPI implementation in Italy.

“If the MACPI tool is applied for a longer period of time, it has the potential to become a goldmine for corruption studies,” said Prof. Alberto Vannucci, Lecturer at University of Pisa and member of MACPI advisory board. He recommended that at the next stage of development of the tool, an integration of some objective indicators would be very useful. Another important aspect of MACPI tools that should not be underestimated is that its use can symbolize the commitment of top level officials to fight corruption.

Dr. Andrey Ivanov, Head of the Roma and Migrant Integration Sector at the Fundamental Rights Agency highlighted that corruption undermines one of the fundamental civic rights – the right to good governance. In this regard, there are many similarities between the work FRA is doing on developing common indicators for Roma integration and what MACPI is trying to do in the area of anti-corruption. There are increasing number of bottlenecks at local level, which create huge gaps between policies and implementation. MACPI is an excellent example of an effort to understand what the reasons behind this phenomenon are.

According to Mr. Carl Dolan, Director of the EU office of Transparency International the implementation of the tool in private companies and in EU institutions could also be considered. Dr. Maria Popova, Researcher at McGill University in Canada, highlighted that the application of the tool in the same institution over certain periods of time would provide the most valuable information on the effectiveness of anticorruption measures.

The discussion further focused on the possible follow ups and the applicability of the tool in various environments. Its potential for benchmarking the same organisation over time and similar organisations within and across countries was a matter of further debate. Also discussed was the usefulness of MACPI in the context of other European Commission supported initiatives, such as the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) which includes a substantial anticorruption effort.

Participants in the policy forum Monitoring Anticorruption Enforcement
Prof. Alberto Vannucci, Lecturer, University of Pisa and member of the MACPI Advisory Board
From left to right: Prof. Andrea di Nicola, University of Trento; Dr. Alexander Stoyanov, CSD; Ms. Anabela Gago, European Commission, Mr. Boyko Todorov, CSD: Dr. Andrey Ivanov, FRA
Participants in the policy forum Monitoring Anticorruption Enforcement
Partiicpants in the policy forum Monitoring Anticorruption Enforcement

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