ZAGREB, October 14, 2019 – The chair of the Conflict of Interest Commission, Nataša Novaković, said on Monday that despite criticisms of its work by state officials, the Commission would continue working as it had so far and that it had contacted foreign institutions over the situation in Croatia and the new conflict of interest law.
“We have been witnessing numerous media statements by the highest state officials who describe the work of the Commission as that of an arbiter and a political instrument. In order to protect this body’s work and integrity, we underline that despite the criticism we will continue working as we have so far, in line with the practice that has been confirmed by administrative courts and the parliament, which voted for our annual reports,” Novaković told reporters.
Commenting on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s recent statement on the Commission’s decision that he had violated the principle of conscientious and transparent conduct, which he described as absurd, Novaković said Plenković’s statement was inappropriate but that she did not take it personally.
“It just took me by surprise. I will refrain from personal comments. The Prime Minister could have attended our session and everything he said at the extraordinary news conference could have been said before the Commission,” Novaković said.
“We do not wage any personal wars, we make decisions because that is our job,” she stressed.
Due to the situation in the country and announcements regarding the new conflict of interest law, a month ago the Commission contacted the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) as well as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Today, Commission representatives will also meet with a representative of the European Commission, Novakovic said.
She said that she expected the drafting of the new conflict of interest law to start anew so as to allow Commission representatives to also participate in the task force in charge of writing the law.
“We expect… the draft that was put to public consultation and the one which we do not know what it looks like, to be abandoned,” she said.
More news about conflict of interest issues can be found in the Politics section.