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ACTION Visegrad SEE: The final conference “The Road to Good Governance” took place

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“The Road to Good Governance” was the topic of the final conference within the project ACTION Visegrad SEE – Accoutability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in South-East Europe, which took place yesterday at the Holiday Inn hotel.

One of the conclusions of the conference was that transparency and accountability, as well as the use of new technologies by authorities in the region are key for applying the good governance principles, therefore improving the quality of life.

This project is supported by the Visegrad Fund and the German Embassy in Skopje, and due to this fact, we had the Ambassador of Germany and the Ambassador of Poland, country that is holding the presidency of the Visegrad Fund, as guest speakers at the opening of the conference.

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During his speech at the opening of the conference, Metamorphosis Foundation’s director, Bardhyl Jashari, stressed that we cannot contribute toward the quality of life if the openness, accountability and rule of law are nonexistent.

- It is important for us, as an organization, to find a way for the civil society to contribute toward good governance. Through this project, with the assistance of technology, ways for requesting accountability and good governance can be found. We, as CSOs, can contribute to ameliorate the citizens’ distrust toward the government, which lately is on a very low level – Jashari believes.

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Jacek Multanowski, the Ambassador of Poland to Macedonia, said that civil society organizations are guardians of the democratic values, the rule of law and the human rights.

- The concept of the European Union is questioned lately, there is immense dissatisfaction, and projects like this can contribute toward strengthening of the trust. Technologies are good opportunity for spreading information and fake news, but they can also help in the request for politicians’ accountability. Without accountability, democratic processes cannot be expected – Multanowski says.

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The German Ambassador in Macedonia, Christine Althauser, believes that the fight for preserving the civil society, democratization and rule of law as well as fight against corruption are highly important. She added that these goals are difficult to achieve, but they are worth a try.

Moreover, the conference saw the presentation of the roadmap for development of good governance in the region titled “Road to Good Governance”. The roadmap highlights that among the biggest challenges in the Western Balkans regarding the implementation of the good governance principles is the absence of political will for allowing the citizens simple and easy communication with authorities during the decision-making process. Also, challenges are the ineffective fight against corruption, non-transparency and unaccountability.

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The project ACTION Visegrad SEE was implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation and seven partner civil society organizations from the Visegrad Group and the Western Balkans: Atlatszo, Hungary; Epanstwo Foundation, Poland; Kohovolit, Czech Republic, Pontis Foundation, Slovakia; Center for Democratic Transition, Montenegro; WhyNot?, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability – CRTA, Serbia.

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Representatives of all eight partners took part in the conference and gave their speeches within the two panels: Good Practices from the Visegrad Group and the Balkan Region and Availability of Data and Research on Good Governance.