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GRECO 66 - Strasbourg, 6-10 October 2014 - Decisions
Statement by Marin Mrčela,
President of the Group of States against Corruption, on the occasion of
International Anti-corruption Day -
[Srasbourg, 08/12/2014] – "Rarely a day goes by without a corruption scandal hitting the headlines in one of our 49 member states. Ordinary citizens of both our old and no longer so young democracies often face corruption in their daily lives, falling victim to graft and abuse of position in their contacts with public services, including health and education professionals and even judges and prosecutors.
At the same time, institutions set up to fight corruption frequently face a lack of resources, legal obstacles to doing their work properly, or even political interference when dealing with high-profile cases.
When the politicians we turn to for leadership pay only lip-service to fighting corruption, notably in their own ranks, democracy falters.
Some might think this is too sharp a claim, but it is not. The results of GRECO´s evaluations show that we have good reason to ring the alarm bells. What our current country evaluations teach us is that boosting the integrity of MPs (and also of judges and prosecutors) is a must.
Of course, some of our member states don’t have a problem in these sectors nor with overall governance, and I am happy to say that the work of the 49 countries in GRECO has more often than not had significant impact in these areas. That said, one cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that in several member states of GRECO, as well as in numerous other parts of the world, people have taken to the street to protest vehemently against corruption and bad governance. All too frequently, political parties score low on widely publicised measures of public trust and are considered “a rotten lot”.
Citizens will certainly continue to denounce corruption, trading in influence and other deplorable practices of those who are meant to responsibly manage public and civil affairs and to promote and protect the common good.
The anti-corruption community must underscore more assertively the need for stronger political will to bring about lasting progress. Promises of morality and ethics are not enough. The 9th of December is a good opportunity to remind ourselves of this basic truth."
Council of Europe supports Ireland in its commitment to preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors and to further strengthening their integrity
[Strasbourg, 21/11/2014] – In a report published today, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against corruption (GRECO) assesses the Irish system for ensuring integrity and preventing corruption and misconduct among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.GRECO notes that there is growing concern about corruption in Ireland, not least as a result of the enquiry and findings of the 2012 “Mahon Tribunal”.
While the legislative process in the Irish Parliament is praised for being very transparent and providing for broad public access, GRECO criticises the normative framework concerning the conduct of parliamentarians, which is currently governed by a wide range of standards in the Constitution, legislation and ethical codes, for being too complex and for containing rules and norms that are not mutually compatible. (more...)
Link to the report
Council of Europe warns Slovakia on risks of corruption amongst parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors
[Strasbourg, 06/11/2014] – In a report published today, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against corruption (GRECO) underscores substantial corruption risks and vulnerabilities that parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors are prone to in the Slovak Republic. It also points to common challenges posed by deficiencies in the implementation of regulations on conflicts of interest and the lack of well-articulated and enforceable codes of conduct. (more...)
GRECO 65 - Strasbourg, 6-10 October 2014 - Decisions
Parliamentary Hearing on “Gender dimensions of corruption”
Held under the auspices of the Assembly’s Anti-corruption Platform, the hearing hosted two guest speakers: Mr Matthias Kopetzky, Member of the Board of the Institute of Internal Audit (IIA-Austria), Leader of the Anti-Fraud Study Group (Austria) and Mrs Helena Lišuchová, GRECO Gender Equality Rapporteur and Bureau Member, Head of the International Co-operation Department, Ministry of Justice (Czech Republic).
The objective was to illustrate with concrete examples why and how the integration of a gender perspective brings added value to the prevention and fight against corruption. The hearing was co-chaired by Ms Nataša Vučković, Chairperson of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs and by Ms Gisela Wurm, Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.
The hearing was open to the public and to the press.
Presentation by Mr. Matthias Kopetzky
Presentation by Mrs Helena Lišuchová
Webpage on Gender dimensions of Corruption
Corruption amongst members of parliament, judges and prosecutors: Belgium must step up its action regarding integrity and transparency
GRECO has noted the recent establishment of codes of deontology and a Federal Ethics Committee, as well as the introduction of preventive measures for federal parliamentarians which include a system for the declaration of donations, official appointments, other positions held and assets. However, the regulatory system suffers from a lack of effectiveness and sometimes appears to be unnecessarily complex.(more...)
Link to the Report
GRECO urges Albania to step up corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors
[Strasbourg, 27/06/2014] – The Council of Europe’s Group of States against corruption (GRECO) has published today its Fourth Round Evaluation Report on Albania dealing with corruption prevention in respect of members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors.
GRECO acknowledges that, while detailed anti-corruption and conflicts of interest regulations are in place, the existing legal framework is highly complex, and its stability is undermined by numerous and frequent amendments which are often subject to contradictory interpretation. Additionally, the rules mainly focus on restrictions and prohibitions, to the detriment of public disclosure and transparency, which curtails their effect. (more...)
Council of Europe praises Norway for its commitment to preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutor
[Strasbourg, 25/06/2014] – In a report published today, the Council of Europe Anti-Corruption Group (GRECO) assesses positively the Norwegian system for ensuring integrity and preventing corruption and misconduct among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.
The members of these professional categories enjoy high levels of public trust, thanks to a zero tolerance approach to corruption and a system that relies mainly on openness, trust and public scrutiny. (more...)
Council of Europe’s Anti-corruption Group calls on Croatia to raise public confidence in judiciary and bolster anti-corruption measures in parliament
[Strasbourg, 25/06/2014] – In a report published today, the Council of Europe anti-Corruption Group (GRECO) gives credit to the efforts made by Croatia to fight corruption in public life. However, despite the many encouraging steps taken, Croatian citizens’ trust in their key institutions remains low. This negative perception is particularly troublesome with respect to the judiciary and politicians. (more...)
– Strasbourg, 16-20 June 2014 - Decisions
[Strasbourg, 19/06/2014] – In its annual report, published today, the Council of Europe´s anti-corruption monitoring group GRECO expresses concern about the little progress made by a significant number of European countries in implementing its recommendations on transparency of political funding.
In the report, GRECO partly attributes this situation to the political sensitivity of party and campaign funding, and to the fact that, by evaluating states in this field, GRECO´s monitoring has extended to areas beyond direct governmental control and under the influence of political parties and parliaments themselves.
Council of Europe encourages Denmark to further develop its tools for preventing corruption
– Danish measures to prevent
corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors appear to be
quite effective in practice. However, the current system based on trust
might not always provide sufficient safeguards against corruption risks in
on “Strengthening the capacity of parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors
to prevent corruption in their own ranks: emerging trends from two years of
GRECO Round IV evaluations”
[Strasbourg, 14/04/2014] –Under the auspices of the Austrian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, this one and a half day conference was jointly organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice, the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO), and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), with extra financial support from the Government of Monaco. In addition to taking stock of national experience and main findings in the prevention of corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors, it also provided an opportunity to review policies, exchange information on good practices and to identify future action in the light of GRECO’s Fourth Evaluation Round.
The conference opened with a high-level segment which brought together several Ministers and high-level officials. In the following expert sessions, GRECO delegates of all member States worked together with experts and representatives from the different sectors concerned to highlight achievements in the following areas:
prevention of corruption in respect of members of parliament,
prevention of corruption in respect of judges and prosecutors..
The conference brought together around
70 participants from the GRECO member States, as well as those from
international organisations and other relevant stakeholders..