When we discuss a policy agenda against corruption, there are a few components that tend to get all the attention: clear rules and solid institutions, freedom of speech and competitive markets, transparency and accountability, oversight and integrity, professional staff and resources, benchmarking and international standards.
However, I believe that an engaged, open and inspiring leadership is as important a component as the others.
Argentina is undergoing a major, gradual and constant political, economic and social transformation since December 2015. The new administration under President Mauricio Macri has achieved important institutional and administrative reforms built on a sustained social demand and political consensus in a minority Congress. These reforms have paved the way out of populism under the motto of reformismo permanente (Macri’s mantra) and represent a significant change in expectations about the future among the majority of the population. Macri has challenged the private sector, trade unions, political parties, the provinces and its governors, the judiciary and NGOs to think and behave out of the box. People showed in 2015 and 2017 elections that they were tired of decay, inefficiency and corruption but ready and hungry for a different and effective recipe for individual and national progress. Interest groups started to adjust to the new context. The institutional agenda is big enough to cross party lines, sectors and administrations. Now, under the presidency of the G20, Argentina has the chance to accelerate reforms and take a gigantic step. It is more than possible: It is happening.
Alonso is the head of Argentina’s national anti-corruption office