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Bulgarian politics: how to ensure a referendum fails

On Sunday, 25 October 2015, telephones started ringing at 7 am at the offices of Transparency International Bulgaria (TI Bulgaria). A team of eight colleagues was taking calls from concerned citizens. Another two colleagues with legal expertise started preparing complaints about voting irregularities. Welcome to election day, Bulgarian style. 6.8 million Bulgarians have the opportunity […]

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Anti-corruption reform in Ukraine: going round in circles

Today civil activists, politicians and anti-corruption experts from around the world will meet in Kiev to assess Ukraine’s progress in fight against corruption and what more needs to be done. I won’t be one of the cheerleaders. Unfortunately, in the two years since what we call the Revolution of Dignity, corruption is still a key […]

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Asset recovery: where are we now?

One of the big topics at this week’s Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is asset recovery. Delegates will discuss what more needs to be done – and there is a great deal — to speed up the return of stolen assets to their rightful owners and where UNCAC fits […]

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A bill to limit access to property registers in Russia will hide corruption

In Russia, finding out who owns that Italianate villa or luxury apartment is currently possible thanks to the Unified State Register of Rights to Immovable Property, a government database managed by ROSREESTR, the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre, and Cartography. USRR data is in the public domain. It costs just 200-600 rubles (US$3.27-US$9.80) to […]

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Practicing open data: publishing court decisions in Germany

In order to hold government to account, people need to know what it is doing. That is why it is so important for civil society to be able to have access to information on all types of government actions. Advocating for what we call “open data” is at the heart of the anti-corruption movement. In […]

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Fighting corruption in Greece must be a priority

Greece now has a new government, its fourth in six years. One of the returning Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ priorities remains constant: to fight of corruption. Previous incarnations of this government had appointed a minister to strengthen this fight. This was definitely a good move but it did not deliver. The previous minister of state […]

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Incentivizing integrity in banks is more than just paying some fines

Three German banks Commerzbank, HypoVereinsbank and the state-owned HSH-Bank have just settled with tax authorities in Nordrhein-Westfalen on illegal aid to tax evasion. The banks assisted clients in shifting their funds from Luxembourg to Panama to put the money out of reach of German tax authorities. While the settlements partially provide for 8-digit fines, they […]

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Подготовке Чемпионата мира по футболу 2018 нужна прозрачность

В 2010 году Российской Федерации было присуждено право проведения Чемпионата мира по футболу 2018 года. После Зимних Олимпийских Игр 2014, Чемпионат мира станет вторым по величине спортивным событием в истории современной России. На проведение мероприятия правительство Российской Федерации утвердило бюджет в 660 млрд. рублей (16 млрд. долл. США).  335 млрд. рублей (8 млрд. долл. США) […]

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The 2018 World Cup in Russia must be transparent

In 2010 Russia was awarded the right to host the next FIFA World Cup. After the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the 2018 World Cup will become the second major international sports event held in the country in its recent history. The Russian government approved a total budget of 660 billion roubles (US$16 billion) for the […]

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Georgia: protect the messengers who protect citizens’ rights

In the past year there have been a number of high-profile verbal attacks on the leaders of civil society organisations in Georgia who take issue with some of what the government is doing. Rather than trying to undermine the messengers, the government should listen to the concerns they represent. In January a former prime minister […]

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