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Transparency International – 2016

Opening Remarks

Professor Paraskevi Naskou-Perraki, International Law and International Organizations

Distinguished guests, dear colleagues of the University, dear students, friends and colleagues in Transparency International, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to this 3rd ‘’Education as a shield against corruption’’ event, which is co-organized by the University of Macedonia and the Thessaloniki team of Transparency International Greek Chapter.

Welcome to this event which can be considered by now an institution where every year postgraduate students of this unique Master program present their works, on a very important issue that of corruption versus transparency, under the supervision of Prof. Harry Papapanagos, a member of our team.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Transparency the nemesis of corruption is a demand that is neither Greek, nor Balkan rather global. For this reason at universal level, the United Nations has sought to establish transparency as a priority at every section of activity, starting with  the administration of the Organization,  which includes independent audits for high rank officials and yearly checks for all employs to deter fraud and bribery.  Even recently, in September 2015, the General Assembly adopted a series of resolutions to reform the selection process of the Secretary General to ensure diversity and transparency[1].

The cornerstone of these efforts is the Convention against corruption which was adopted by the General Assembly  and  entered into force on 14 December 2005. Till this day 178  UN member states have ratified it ,including  Greece in 2008.

Most recently, the Economic and Social Council (ΕCOSOC) has adopted the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs)[2], as part of the Goals Nr. 16 which is vowed to ‘’promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies’’. Under that scope the UN has develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all level significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere, promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime, reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms.

At the European level, the European Union has been struggling to upkeep a certain uniform level of transparency throughout member states either at Eastern European states, as well as the western states  challenged from limited corporate regulation that led to illegitimate investor practices abroad. The EU has started a series of actions with a new anti-corruption package in 2011, verifying member states by anti-corruption standards, and more recently the EU Commission issued action-plan to strengthen the trace of money with the view to avoid illicit funding of terrorists. The EU participates in Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption called (GRECO) as well.

Transparency is not just a theoretical norm is a necessity, a prerequisite for welfare, social justice, progress and above all development and its sustainment. Corruption requires strong accountability rules, protection, law enforcement and independence in auditing.

Corruption impacts societies in a multitude of ways and multiple levels political, economic, social and cultural.  It acts competitively with democracy, human rights, efficient governance and is an obstacle for standard decision making which is distorted with favoritism and nepotism. Transparency is a demand in our societies that we need to highlight.

But Transparency is not only a policy priority it also personal, individual priority, as we can also participate in the fight against corruption and take a stand in everyday life. This is what we do in Transparency international and in the Thessaloniki’s Chapter. I want to thank you for taking your time off your schedule to attend this event, because this attests your motivation to join this unique fight and maybe join us!!!

As for you, dear students, the main actors of this event, I am certain that you will continue the good work in your countries against corruption. We rely on you, since  the future of this world is  mainly in your hands.

My congratulations for your work,

I do thank you all.




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