About this Talk
This report uses the term ‘organized corruption’ to explain how corruption is embedded in the political economy of many countries in the region. Organized corruption is a ‘a symbiosis of organized crime, criminal methods and high-level corruption, which creates a crooked ecosystem that enriches and protects those with access to power’. Organized corruption is not only about systemic illicit financial gains and undue influence in decision-making, but also the systemic buying and influencing of social support to gain or maintain political and economic power.
Organized corruption is particularly evident in the political context of transitions towards democracy, when key parts of the economy are in the public domain, as is the case in the Western Balkans. In this context, control of politics and control of the economy are interlinked. Being in power means controlling the strings of the public purse.
Political parties utilize political power to acquire economic influence through the control of public finances and public officials. Political victory enables the use of state funds and enterprises for patronage and to gain financial, political and social benefits. In such an environment, elections are often a winner-take-all contest, not only for the political parties but also for those who benefit from patronage. It therefore follows that those who profit from power have an interest in financing political parties and elections.
This webinar will present the main findings and conclusions from the report titled 'Organized Corruption: Political Financing in the Western Balkans'.