Gold News. Championing Anti-Corruption

Transparency International Cyprus (TI-Cyprus) is a National Chapter of Transparency International.

It was established in January 2011 and its aim and vision is, quite simply, one of combating corruption in Cyprus.

Gold News spoke with CEO of TI-Cyprus, Nicolas Nicolaides, who shared insight into the structure of the organisation, and how it intends on championing anti-corruption in Cyprus.

“TI-Cyprus’s mission is to contribute to the strengthening of civil society and to improve the quality of public and private sector governance in Cyprus by promoting transparency, integrity and accountability,” Nicolaides begins.

“Some of its main priorities include raising awareness of the damaging impact of corruption, as well as empowering and encouraging citizens to participate in the fight against corruption.”

Responding as to what precisely constitutes TI-Cyprus’ vision, Nicolaides is sure and succinct: “Our vision is fixed on serving as the primary source of information for both the government and the broader public on corruption reform in Cyprus, thus building and strengthening institutions, and facilitating reform in sectors where corruption exists.”

He continues: “Ultimately, we aspire to promote good governance in key policy fields.”

And how, exactly, does TI-Cyprus ensure achievement of its aims? “TI-Cyprus adds pressure on the political parties and the party in power to put corruption on the top of the Governmental agenda so as to carry out the necessary reforms to effectively combat corruption. We are fervent in our mission to raise awareness about corruption, advocate legal and regulatory reform at a national level, and promote practical tools for institutions, individuals and companies wishing to combat corruption, acting as a leading centre of anti-corruption expertise in Cyprus. We also undertake initiatives or actions on behalf of third parties and request transparency of specific events/situations.”

Furthermore, Nicolaides expresses the adamantine belief that understanding corruption is a key step in overcoming this otherwise detrimental phenomenon: “We conduct annual corruption perception surveys to better understand the causes of corruption in the country and identify the perceived level of this phenomenon among decision makers and policy enforcers. Better understanding the underlying causes of corruption and its consequences could be vital for policymakers who aim to improve our institutions by controlling corruption,” he explains.

With the self-professed motivation to aid the current Government in developing a national strategic anti-corruption action plan, Nicolaides reveals that a series of initiatives and proposals have been submitted to President Nicos Anastasiades, such as the creation of a regulatory committee, which can monitor the privatisations process and establish a database comprising all the steps in the process, so as to enhance transparency.

“TI-Cyprus is cognisant of the direct relationship between the financial crisis and corruption, and so it is that it remains faithful to its efforts to ensure that a number of anti-corruption measures and actions be taken accordingly,” Nicolaides concludes.