The fight against corruption
“The ability to fight corruption – a pre-requisite for maintaining and developing a democratic welfare state!”
Corruption (Latin corrumpere = to spoil, weaken, deform, bribe) is marked by actions leading to personal gain in which abuse occurs of one’s position or function in politics, public administration, education, health care, services, or in the economy as a whole. It must be said that corruption in the CR at the present time has already attained a systemic nature and is beyond the actions of a particular individual. This crime has become increasingly sophisticated and particularly affects public administration, with the primary target being public budgets.
We have confronted corruption in our country more and more in recent years. The mass media is constantly reporting new cases exhibiting the hallmarks of obvious corruption. Unfortunately, the public never hears that the defendants in such cases are ever held accountable for their actions. In the relatively young democratic system which we have been able to establish in our country, such an approach in the fight against corruption is very dangerous. Officials at all levels and all government institutions which together bear the function of democratic governance lose their legitimacy in such a heavily corrupt environment. Responsible leadership of a country cannot be fostered in an atmosphere of rampant corruption.
A government with an ambivalent approach to thoroughly stamping out corruption is a significant contributor to the depletion of our national wealth. By failing to govern, it allows the embezzlement of public resources by concluding wasteful public contracts, often without proper tender procedures, or my making investments which nobody actually needs.
Corruption prevents the development of fair market structures and distorts economic competition, which as a result limits investment and prevents economic growth. Companies relocate their headquarters, moving them abroad, thus reducing the tax base.
The most damaging effect of corruption is its impact on the social structure of society. Corruption significantly erodes confidence in the political system, in state institutions and their management. The subsequent frustration then leads to general apathy and a loss of faith in the possibility of enforcing justice. Civil society becomes weak, participation in elections declines. This opens the door of politics to ruthless individuals capable of anything who, thanks to their “democratic election”, callously “privatize” public resources and scrupulously transfer this wealth into their personal proper ty. All political parties present themselves to the public as tireless warriors against corruption.
Nevertheless, they fail to implement practical legislative measures against corruption, in spite of their strong anti-corruption rhetoric. For all of these reasons, ČSSD feels that it is essential to set up a government advisory body that will not only be able to formulate anti-corruption strategy, but in particular will be able to competently lead professional and public discussion on the fight against corruption so that we can as quickly as possible put anti-corruption strategies into practice and begin to adopt measures that will effectively deal with corruption through actions, not just words. The form and extent of this body, however, will be the subject of further debate on the suitability and work to be performed by such authority.
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