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Slovakia: Citizens are supported by the strengthened guardians of good manners

Slovak Pontis Foundation has opened in the autumn the first granting round for the slovak watchdog and think-tank organisations within the Fund for Transparent Slovakia. Foundations has already announced the results and supported four selected nongovernmental organizations so these can keep focusing on controlling the corruption, clientelism, public resources wasting or misuse of power.

“They often point at negative sides of our society that our citizens can neglect easily. Some people might consider watchdog organizations as useless, however they are essential for functioning of a healthy democratic society,” says a sociologist, Martin Slosiarik from the agency Focus. Together with a journalist Zuzana Petková, an economic reporter, Gabriel Beer, and the directress of the Pontis Foundation, Lenka Surotchak, evaluated NGOs which are in a greatest need of a financial stimulus to continue their successful projects.

NGOs have problems with resources

Many watchdog and analytical organizations in Slovakia are in a difficult situation. Even though their activities are supported by the public and strongly reflected in the media, they often suffer from lack of finances to run these activities. Also this was the reason for establishment of the Fund for Transparent Slovakia, which is based on the initiative of Business Leaders Forum members (administered by the Pontis Foundation). Its aim is to support the organization fighting against clientelism, corruption, and misuse of power. This year the Fund will support 4 organization, together with 50 350 Euro. Also thanks to these finances they will be able to continue their current activities in the next year.

11 nongovernmental organizations that control selected areas of public life in the long term applied in the first year of a grant program – For Transparent Slovakia. The committee of experts was looking at the strong vision and courage of organizations to defend public interests, but also assessed whether the project contributes to strengthening of organization's functioning and its sustainable operation also after project's termination.

The Fund has originated from the initiative of companies

The Fund for Transparent Slovakia originated from the initiative of Business Leaders Forum member companies. BLF is administered by the Pontis Foundation. The main aims of the Fund are to keep developing ethics, transparency, democracy and healthy entrepreneurial environment in Slovakia via support of watchdog and analytical organizations. These focus on revelation of corruption, clientelism and point at unethical and uneconomical governance and are an important part of strengthening democracy and healthy environment for economic development. Compared to other organizations they have more difficult conditions regarding financing their own activities because of the necessity to keep their independence. The ambition of the Fund for Transparent Slovakia is to support watchdog and analytical organizations in Slovakia for three years. Its aim is not to create new artificial activities but to support and strengthen existing or planned activities of selected organizations. The Fund originated thanks to Západoslovenská energetika, Slovenské elektrárne, Slovak Telekom, Heineken Slovensko, Accenture, Embraco Slovakia, and Slovalco.

Supported organizations from the Fund for Transparent Slovakia

VIA IURIS, 20,000 Euro
- Institutional development and financial sustainability of the organization which helps people defend their rights and contributes to responsible and effective behavior of state organs and municipalities

Transparency International Slovakia, 13,000 Euro
- Institutional, organizational, and financial development of the organization that assesses government actions regarding the fight against corruption. It focuses on public procurement in the long term

Aliancia Fair-play, o.z, 10.350 Euro
- Sustainability of independent civil control of the power in Slovakia and publishing flaws which waste public money or breach the civil rights

Health Policy Institute, 7,000 Euro
Analysis of waiting lists and corruption in Slovak Healthcare

Source: http://www.nadaciapontis.sk/en/18252

Last update: 2013-03-12

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