The report singles out Albania and Kosovo for having the highest incidence of businesses monopolizing the economy. Energy has the highest risk, as its control is concentrated, there is a lack of transparency, and its administration by the government is inefficient.
On the other hand, businesses in Albania themselves complain that corruption is rife within the informal economy. 72% of businesses believe so and think that the state does not use its taxes properly to provide better public services.
Another finding of the report is that residents of the Balkan region are highly tolerant of corruption.
Of those who believe that corruption is unacceptable, 62% think they will be victims of officials bribing them. This figure is higher for those who see corruption as acceptable – 82% of them expect to be bribed.
The report estimates that justice reform in the region’s countries in the last 10 years have not progressed significantly, highlighting the poor results of the judiciary branch, including the very low sentences handed down to public officials.
These reforms have been exacerbated by the politicization of the judiciary, unfair influence, and corruption. The report notes that the government and parliament have a major influence on the judiciary through the election of officials and the setting of the budget.
Media independence and freedom remain a problem in the region. The report holds governments responsible for the lack of transparency over media ownership and their lack of protection from policy interference.