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Anti-corruption laws are toothless

Anti-corruption measures did not have a strong influence.

Pavol Szalai and Zuzana Hlávková reported on dubious practices during Slovakia’s EU Council Presidency. (Source: SME)

In speeches about tackling corruption, authorities have often highlighted the positive results of the law on the protection of whistleblowers and the anti-shell law, approved during the ruling Robert Fico’s governments.

Ethics watchdogs, however, believe that in practice the anti-corruption measures adopted in the last two years do not have such a strong influence.

“They only deal with isolated problems and not always vigorously,” Peter Kunder of the ethics watchdog Fair-Play Alliance told The Slovak Spectator.

The government even ignored some important measures, including the latest EU rules in the fight against money laundering, Kunder said, which should have been transposed in summer 2017.

Read also:Is Slovakia still in the bosom of corruption?

Reporting tool

The first valid measure, the Act on Certain Measures Related to the Reporting of Anti-social Activities, targets the protection of people who decide to blow the whistle on their employers or colleagues who do not conduct business in an ethical way.

The law, first approved in 2015, is now subject to an amendment establishing a special authority to help educate and protect whistleblowers and control property admissions. The amendment is currently in inter-departmental comments, Peter Kovařík, head of the Corruption Prevention Department of the Government’s Office, confirmed for the public-service broadcaster RTVS.

Tomáš Strémy from the Faculty of Law at Comenius University in Bratislava assesses the existing wording of the act as beneficial. However, the regulation itself does not address the question of social education and the courage of people.

Read more: What is the objective of the anti-shell law? What changes should be adopted to fight corruption?

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