Towards a Gold Standard in Governance, Transparency and Anti-corruption in Post-communist Societies

The conference was organized on the occasion of 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of totalitarian regimes in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. It builds on the experience and work of the Global Governance Forum convened in Prague since 2011 and it is centered on a community of individuals and institutions that believe the next stage of EU integration of CEE countries is centered on building a Good Society. Photo gallery on our flickr account.

The main guest of the conference was be Mr. Hoyt Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State. Keynote speakers, panelists and participants are all part of the larger community involved in the good governance efforts in the political, economic and social context in the region. These included officials from central and local governments ministries of Justice, finance, public prosecutors and judges, politicians, expert, representatives of the public and private sector from CEE, EU Commission, current Presidency of the Council of the EU, US State Department, World Bank, CEDO, Council of Europe, GMF, Brookings Institution, etc.

Overcoming real and nominal convergence issues that separate these countries from the developed economies and societies of EU is rooted in governance. The economic and social performance of these societies, their prosperous, inclusive, just and stable future rests on their ability to become real “good societies” in the classical sense of the term. A central pillar of this is combating corruption, promoting transparency and the rule of law as essential good governance elements.

Agenda

09:00 – 10:00              Opening speeches

Mircea Geoana, High Representative of the Romanian Government for Strategic Economic Projects and Public Diplomacy. President of Aspen Institute Romania
Hoyt Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State
Robert Cazanciuc, Romanian Minister of Justice
George Cristian Maior, Director, Romanian Intelligence Service
Laura Codruta Kovesi, Head of National Anti-Corruption Directorate of   Romania
Angela Filote, Head of the European Commission Representation in Romania

10:00 – 11:00              Roundtable: A lasting and effective frame of reference for transparency and good governance
There is no shortage in targets and methods in fighting corruption in the region. Various players at national, EU or international organizations level focus on different strategies. Building effective synergies requires a shared frame of reference when it comes to targets and objectives as well as indicators measuring effectiveness.
Topics: Clarity of purpose: Establishing and effectively using a set of reliable targets and matching indicators for institutions and procedures in the fight against corruption, promoting transparency and good governance.
Aligning efforts: using effectively a system of targets in developing strategies and inter-institutional cooperation in the region; EU, WB, OECD

Speakers:                   
Aleksandre Baramidze, First Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia
Anatolie Donciu, President of the National Integrity Commission, Republic of Moldova
Ana Vasilache, President of Partners for Local Development Foundation (FPDL)
Karel Janecek, Founder of the Fund Against Corruption, Czech Republic
Liviu-Bogdan Ciuca, President of the Judicial Commission Chamber of Deputies
Valentina-Andreea Dimulescu, ‎Public Policy Researcher, Romanian Academic Society (SAR)

Moderator:                 
Madalin Niculeasa, Managing Partner at Niculeasa Litigators

11:00 – 11:15             Coffee break

11:15 – 12:30              Roundtable: Implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategies
Case studies focused on administration, public procurement and reform of political processes.
Topics: State of play and obstacles to effective public policy; case studies and best practices in the CEE region focused on key elements: transparency, institutional capacity, governance, enforcement, accountability and drivers of change: technology, partnerships, community
How to match legal and institutional efforts on the public side with effective  private sector responses re-enforcing anti-corruption strategies?
Speakers:                  
Laura Codruta Kovesi, Head of National Anti-Corruption Directorate of   Romania
Pawel Wojtunik, Head of the Central Anticorruption Bureau of Poland
Adriatik Llalla, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Albania
Sabina Cerbu, Deputy Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice of Moldova
Catalin Boboc, Chairman of Judicial Commission of the Romanian Senate
Josip Kregar, Chairman of Judiciary Committee of the Parliament of Croatia
Vakhtang Khmaladze, Chairman of the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia
Koca Pavlovic, member of Anti-Corruption Committee of the Parliament of Montenegro

Moderator:                
Madalina Mocan, Director for Development, Ratiu Foundation for Democracy

12:30 – 12:45              Coffee break

12:45 – 14:00              Roundtable: Ensuring a steady, predictable and transparent framework for business and investors

In order to achieve economic growth, the private sector must perform within a legal framework that enables investments, access to capital, innovation and fair competition. The OECD Anti-bribery convention establishes legally binding standards to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and provides for a host of related measures that make this effective. At the same time there are two sides to an effective, competitive market and a transparent, level playing field for businesses and investors. The other side requires private sector efforts and contributions. These can bring a decisive contribution to a culture of good economic and social governance.  
Topics: One important issue that needs to be addressed, when tackling corruption, is represented by the private sector factors that enable bribery. These need to be addressed together with the strategies designed to insure a correlation between public and private sector approaches. In a well performing policy and practice context these can be complementary and mutually reinforcing. Good governance and transparency often entail a cost to businesses (publishing reports, creating additional layers in their communication, collecting and screening the relevant data, ensuring commitment to specific and detailed norms etc.). How is this received by businesses and what can be done to ensure public policies in this respect are embraced and supported by companies? How can the private sector work also independently of the work undertaken by policymakers and authorities and still ensure effectiveness of its policies and practices?  Is it by "topping of" or complementing public policy standards? Can self regulation be as effective as the legal framework? How do you ensure the two are in sync. What are the sources, role and potential impact of the WEF Partnering agains corruption initiative and other similar private sector driven processes? Can standards and indicators that are applicable elsewhere be effectively operational in SEE Europe? How do you include institutional, business and political culture into your thinking and action? What are the top priorities regarding governance for investor’s when it comes to investing in South Eastern and Central Eastern Europe? How can international investor’s address issues related to private sector governance issues and practices that are having an effect on a level playing field, competitiveness etc. I am thinking of issues related to very and un documented labour practices, cartel issues, price fixing etc.

Speakers:                  
Bogdan Chiritoiu, President Competition Council
Gretchen Jonker, Associate Director for Engagement, Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), World Economic Forum
Madalin Niculeasa, Managing Partner at Niculeasa Litigators
Mihai Daraban, President of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Johannes Hendrik Mattheus Van Bonzel, Ambassador, Holland Embassy in Romania
Moderator:                
Andrei Tarnea, Executive Director Aspen Institute Romania 


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