09.05.2012 â€“ The Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)
today called on its member states to set up transparent systems for party and
election campaign financing. In its
annual report, GRECO, while acknowledging an increase in regulatory efforts
by states, pointed to a number of shortcomings:
transparency of some sources of income of parties, such as donations in kind,
party membership fees, loans or sponsorship are often neglected
by the legislation
Anonymous donations are still possible in some countries
Legislation in many countries does not include local party bodies and other
entities involved in election campaigns
Financial information is often not published in an easily accessible and timely
number of states fail to have a truly independent supervisory body and in some
states such a body does not exist or has limited functions
Sanctions are often weak, not flexible enough, limited in scope or not applied.
With regard to
bribery and trading in influence offences, GRECO finds a high degree of
compliance with the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption. It stresses however
that some states need to replace fragmented laws with comprehensive
bribery is a form of corruption that is not yet criminalised in some countries.
Where it is criminalised, the sanctions are often weak. Many countries tend to
treat some types of corruption more seriously than others. For example, the
sanction for passive bribery in the public sector is often more severe than for
the active side of the offence. In several states prosecutions in respect of
corruption offences are rare.
president Marin MrÄŤela said â€śin general states are taking important steps to
fight corruption and increase the transparency of political funding, but many
improvements are needed. Governments must commit both political will and
adequate resources, so corruption can be prevented and fought effectivelyâ€ť.
In 2012 GRECO
has started examining a new field: corruption prevention in respect of members
of parliament, judges and prosecutors. Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Poland,
Slovenia and the United Kingdom are the first countries under evaluation.
established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor statesâ€™ compliance with
the organisationâ€™s anti-corruption standards. Currently it comprises 48 European
states and the United States of America.
More information on GRECO
For more information see: www.coe.int / www.coe.ge