by Michael Druckman
"In Romania, the loudest criticism aimed at the DNA is that it throws too many people in jail while neglecting to pursue the prevention aspect of its mandate. In Ukraine, the main complaint one hears is that no one has gone to jail yet. Prevention is a key task of NABU, and strong citizen involvement is playing an outsized role in educating the Ukrainian public about NABU, its ancillary agencies, and its functions.
Romania and Ukraine are dealing with many of the same issues. Both struggle with the proper place of a national anticorruption agency, the role civil society should play in engaging parties and government in fighting corruption, how political parties should be financed, and how public procurement can be made more transparent and competitive for small businesses.
While Ukraine is starting its fight years after Romania, civil society appears far more focused and engaged there. Ukrainian civil society has been hyper-mobilized since well before the Euromaidan, continues to apply pressure on the government to act, and regularly develops solutions subsequently adopted by the government. The creation of an elected civic oversight body within NABU, political party finance reform legislation, and the creation and adoption of the ProZorro e-procurement system were all civil society-led initiatives."