This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from the European Commission. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union.
Can you provide an overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Azerbaijan?
1. Overview of corruption in Azerbaijan
2. Anti-corruption efforts in Azerbaijan
With a context characterised by limited independent media, a marginalised political opposition and a poor human rights records, Azerbaijan faces major challenges of endemic corruption. Deeply entrenched patronage networks permeate all spheres of public life and hamper the long term economic and social development prospects of the country.
Economic and political powers are largely concentrated in the ruling elite, creating a blurred line between political and business interests. While the country’s natural resource wealth has largely contributed to economic growth and political stability in the last decade, it is also considered a major source of corruption and driver for political patronage networks. Public financial management, political processes, the judiciary and the police count among the sectors considered to be most vulnerable to corruption.
In recent years, the government has been credited internationally for taking important steps against corruption. In 2009, Azerbaijan became the first compliant country in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Other important legal and institutional developments have taken place in the areas of public sector reform and money laundering, among others. These efforts have started to pay off, translating in a significant decrease in citizens’ perceptions of corruption in many sectors, as reflected by the recently launched Global Corruption Barometer 2013. However, the government’s human rights track record continues to fuel a culture of impunity – undermining the effectiveness of recent anti-corruption reforms.
Marie Chêne, Transparency International, [email protected], with contribution from Transparency International Azerbaijan