Image credit: International IDEA
International IDEA organized the first of a series of Expert Talks in Stockholm on 14 November 2019, exploring a number of interlinked issues between political finance and corruption. The event provided an opportunity to inspire and influence the global debate on money in politics while engaging with the diplomatic and policy community in Sweden.
The “Expert Talks” event was held at International IDEA's headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme for the inauguration of the series was “Political Finance with Integrity - Tackling Political Corruption”. With the aim to raise awareness on this topic and present the key findings of the recently launched Policy Papers, the event brought together over 50 participants from a number of diplomatic missions and leading research institutes in Sweden. During the event, International IDEA's Secretary-General Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora and Dr Yukihiko Hamada discussed the importance of effective political finance systems in the fight against corruption, as well as several remaining challenges.
Based on the data from International IDEA’s Political Finance Database and the findings from the reports, The Integrity of Political Finance Systems in Asia: Tackling Political Corruption and The Integrity of Political Finance Systems in Africa: Tackling Political Corruption, the Expert Talks facilitated a highly interactive session, which provided practical insights and examples where Dr Casas-Zamora reflected on his hands-on experiences serving as Vice President of Costa Rica. While discussing the main corruption risks regarding funding of political parties and election campaigns, it was highlighted that political finance at the local level would require further attention since the risk of organized crime penetration into the political process and electoral campaigns is more evident.
The debate also discussed the common features and pitfalls of political finance systems worldwide, with reference to some regulatory trends and differences across different regions. It was highlighted that the enforcement of political finance regulations continues to remain challenging in many countries. In order to support the effective implementation of existing regulations and enable meaningful oversight, transparency in political finance systems was repeatedly raised during the debate. The debate concluded that further attention should be given to digital reporting and disclosure for increased transparency, promotion of the civil society organizations and independent media for scrutiny, and capacity building of political parties and oversight bodies.
Expert Talks is a new initiative which is organized by International IDEA to engage with and bring together the community of practitioners, policymakers and researchers working in the area of democracy building and development in Sweden. Each Expert Talks features a different topic and provides an interactive discussion between International IDEA’s experts and stakeholders.