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Leading by example against corruption in Vilnius

Luna and Achilleas discovered a new way to tackle an old problem as they walked along the banks of the Neris River with Rugile and Ieva from Transparency International Lithuania.

Vilnius people and visitors like meeting and hanging out in this central riverside area, a great place for organising cultural activities and enjoying life. The municipality plans to redevelop the area with new paths, bicycle lanes and recreation spots. An ambitious project, and a significant public investment. To make sure local taxpayers’ money is well spent and it benefits entirely to the population, the municipality decided to work with Transparency International Lithuania and signed a legally binding Integrity Pact.

It means all parties in the contracting process agree to act in ways designed to minimise corruption and fraud. Transparency International Lithuania monitors their compliance and makes the process open and understandable to anyone. This should help prevent corruption, which is perceived as one of Lithuania’s top societal problems, and get more people involved in decision making.

The Neris Riverside Integrity Pact is one of 17 anti-corruption pilot projects funded by the EU. Taken together, these pilots in 11 different EU countries are worth nearly one billion euros. Corruption in public procurement is estimated to cost EU taxpayers €5 billion per year.

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