Municipalities of Black Sea and Western Balkans form an “Islands of Integrity” Network to fight corruption

Oct 13, 2016

Kids draw corruption in their home communities. Competition organized by UNDP Moldova

Today, 50 local anti-corruption practitioners, representatives from municipalities and anti-corruption agencies from the Black Sea and the Western Balkans gathered in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova to discuss transparency, integrity and accountability challenges and solutions for municipalities.

The meeting was convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Partners Foundation for Local Development (FPDL). This regional thematic meeting is also part of the follow-up activities of the 8th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, organised by the Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND, with the financial support of the European Commission.

“Of course, representatives of the municipalities are the first to benefit from this exchange of ideas and best practices, as they are the first institution citizen hear from. Such a great participation from many officials, local authorities and public servants from all over the region is a good precondition that that the best solutions are identified to bridge the gap between various stakeholders on anticorruption actions at local level”, noted Valeria Ieseanu, Programme Specialist at UNDP Moldova.

Civil society, municipality and anti-corruption agencies representatives agreed to form a regional network of champions of anti-corruptions at the local level. The network will be called “Islands of Integrity” and promote peer-to-peer exchange on advocating and implementing initiatives advancing transparency, integrity and accountability at the local level.

Municipalities have been perceived as particularly vulnerable to corruption due to their small networks of power as well as their central role in delivering basic services and licenses. Yet, municipalities are also the first institution citizen hear and talk to, as such they offer a great opportunity for trust-building and engaging citizens in decisions that affects people’s lives. For this reason, UNDP together with its partners is working with municipalities who want to prove that cities can be clean and responsive.

The “Islands of Integrity” network aim to demonstrate that successfully fighting corruption is possible. Its members jointly aspire to lead or support efficient institutions responsive to the needs and feedback from citizens.

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