Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) for the past two years has addressed the lack of transparency and auditing of the finances of political parties. To that aim, GLPS through continuous inputs, reports and direct discussions with main stakeholders, including the European Union Office in Kosovo, made possible to include the auditing and transparency of party finances on the European Reform Agenda (ERA). Given that Kosovo has recently signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, ERA remains one of the most crucial tools towards the implementation of reforms necessary to strengthen the democratic governance, economy and rule of law. ERA’s Action Plan, approved in November 2016, includes specific ‘indicators’ for each priority as well as timelines and responsible institutions to implement them. GLPS’s main contribution within the ERA’s good governance and rule of law priority contains specifically:
- the implementation of the independent audit process of party funding for 2013-2016;
- ensuring the publication of financial reports of political parties;
- providing an adequate funding for the procurement of audit services for the financial reports of political parties;
- amending the Law on Financing of Political Parties to ensure transparency, accountability and effective enforcement and sanctions, based on extensive public consultation.
Due to both, the Group for Legal and Political Studies contribution expressed through ERA and, most importantly, the direct engagement of the EU Office in Kosovo, last week political parties in Kosovo have started the publication of financial report. Though we consider this a major step towards the transparency of party funding, under the continuous support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), GLPS will continue to push forward and advocate for a regular auditing of the electoral and annual financial statements of political parties in Kosovo, in order to further strengthen the accountability and rule of law.
To better inform the opinion on the process of political parties funding and transparency, GLPS has recently produced a short informational video under the project entitled ‘Continuing Monitoring and Implementation on the Law on Financing of Political Parties’, funded by NED. The video can be found here.