Objective 1 concerns the strategic analysis of the phenomenon of corruption with respect to SMEs. This will be achieved by identifying the enabling mechanisms of a social, economic, or cultural nature that facilitate the emergence of corruptive phenomena to the detriment of SMEs. Examples include: lack of confidence in the ability of the institutions to intervene effectively; fear of retaliation by local organised crime; the need to identify ways to circumvent excessive bureaucracy; location of the company in a particular area (e.g. large city or a specific region).
In parallel, the strengths and weaknesses of current policies and directives in force in the involved countries will be identified with respect to their capacity for either preventive or mitigating influence on the enabling factors and dynamics of corruption. (As an example, if the identified enabling factor is fear of retaliation, whistleblowing can be effective, but will not succeed if the enabling factor is the need of the company to find ways to circumvent a high number of bureaucratic restrictions.)
The identified and classified patterns of corruption will undergo a comparative analysis in Italy, Serbia, and Romania in order to determine whether there are common, transversal factors and/or dynamics, or whether factors exist that are linked to territorial specifics, thus ensuring trans-national transferability and replicability. A specific, measurable indicator of the degree of achievement of Objective 1 will be the number of types of patterns of corruption successfully identified and analysed with respect to their impact on SMEs.