„The shadow is not merely about non-compliance with law or tolerance of illegitimate activity. First of all, we need to disclose the economic causes of the shadow economy, or what pushes people to engage in it. We explore and evaluate how one or another law, a new tax or restriction will affect the underground economy. Will it help fight this problem or, vice versa, will it push more people to the shadow market? This is precisely where we should be looking for ways to combat the shadow economy, but others simply do not pay attention to this,” LFMI’s senior policy analyst Vytautas Žukauskas said during the meeting. (Photo by R. Dačkaus)
Monday, December 9, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė received representatives of Lithuanian NGOs and other organizations fighting corruption on the occasion of the Anti-Corruption Day. The participants of the meeting discussed anti-corruption initiatives and measures that could help engage more people in the fight against corruption and develop the society’s intolerance of corruption.
The president received representatives of Transparency International, Baltosios Pirštinės, Lietuva be šešėlio, Skaidrumo laboratorija, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, the Council of Lithuanian Youth Organizations, the Lithuanian Youth Union, the Students’ Representative Office of Vilnius University and the Association of Lithuanian Medical Students.
„In fighting corruption the most important thing is not to put up with corruption and to take personal initiative. Young active people prevent the expansion of political corruption, help to make public procurement more transparent and to prevent EU support plunder, contribute to the development of transparent business, reduce the shadow economy and smuggling and promote honest citizenship. Non-governmental organizations are a civil anti-corruption force that needs the support from all of us,” the president said.
Together with the youth representatives the president discussed anti-corruption projects instrumental in increasing the transparency of local government, elections, media, the business environment, the law-making process and the educational system.
The fight against corruption and transparency of the political system and the public sector are among the president’s key priority areas. At the president’s initiative legal entities have been prohibited from donating to political parties, the fight against illegal fortune-making has been started, expanded property confiscation has been legitimated, and fines for economic, financial and corruption-related crimes have been increased. The Law on Public Procurement has been amended to provide for publicity and coordination of all procurements, including those conducted by way of internal transactions and negotiations, with the Public Procurement Service. Amendments to the Law on Coordinating Public and Private Interests in Public Service designed to increase the transparency of state service have been submitted to the Parliament. Criminal responsibility for election graft has been tightened.
The 2013 Transparency International corruption index ranked Lithuania 43rd among 177 countries. Lithuania scored 57 points and was listed 20th out of 30 countries of the EU and Western Europe.
Press Service of the President