Digital vs. Corrupt — Serbia


ERASMUS+, Key action 2: Capacity building in the field of Youth – Western Balkans — training course

Please read the report from this project’s kick-off in Ljubljana, Slovenia in January 2024.

Training course:

Venue: Pirot, Serbia

Dates: 21—26 April 2024

Czech team: 1 participant

Please read the info-pack

Hosting organisation: EPEKA (Scientific and Research Association for Art, Cultural and Educational Programmes and Technology EPEKA)

Project report: 

The Digital vs. Corrupt training course, within the framework of cooperative partnership, took place from April 21st to April 26th in the Serbian town of Pirot. This was the second key activity of our long-term cooperation, which brings together 13 partners, led by the hosting organization EPEKA. The aim of the DigitalvsCorrupt Erasmus+ project is to combat corruption in the Western Balkans and the EU using digital tools and to educate youth organizations on the issue of corruption.

During this training course, we covered the following topics: an introduction to corruption in the public sector, the legal framework of corruption, ethical issues related to corruption, and corruption prevention and recognition. These topics were guided by an expert from Transparency International, Thor, who provided insight into the challenging topic of corruption in the public sector. There was also space for sharing experiences among partners and realities from various Western Balkan and European countries. During the training course, we worked on toolkits.

Due to the participation of a partner who is engaged as activists in the LGBTQ+ field, we also had the opportunity to address the topic of human rights in the LGBTQ+ community during a facilitated workshop.

On the last day, we held a closing conference titled “Fighting against corruption in the public sector, between theory and practice”. A report from the conference and video contributions from representatives of EPEKA organizations were published in two local Serbian news outlets – Pirotske Vesti and Pirot Plus online.

Articles are available here:

During the training course, we had the opportunity to explore the town of Pirot, including its best restaurants. The Balkan specialties served in local cozy restaurants were excellent, as well as the pizza in a local pizzeria, which boasted several awards. The group atmosphere was fantastic because we were a smaller group, and we all became friends very quickly. The significant age diversity and interesting professional backgrounds of the participants contributed to the great dynamics of the course.

At the luxurious Ana Lux spa hotel, we had everything we needed, including a spa, sauna, and fitness center. Informal discussions on corruption topics could therefore take place outside the conference room as well.

Despite Pirot having 45,000 inhabitants, it is a very peaceful, village-like town located on the slopes of the Old Mountain. One day, we also went on an afternoon trip to the Serbian Orthodox church Poganovo and walked through the canyon along the Jerma River.

The Balkans have an extraordinary charm, and it was more than a pleasure to spend a week addressing the important topic of corruption in such an amazing, inspiring, and enriching group of people.

Zita K.

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