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The Group of States against Corruption publishes its Third Round Evaluation Report on Malta
Strasbourg, 10 November 2009 - The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Third Round Evaluation Report on Malta. The report has been made public following the agreement of the Maltese authorities. It focuses on two distinct themes: criminalisation of corruption and transparency of party funding.
Regarding the criminalisation of corruption (Theme I), GRECO finds that all the offences covered by the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173), as ratified by Malta, have been incorporated into the Criminal Code. However, the Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 191) has not been ratified yet and some of the offences contained therein (i.e. bribery of arbitrators and foreign jurors) are not criminalised under Maltese law. Overall, Malta has established a solid legal framework, which would only require a few amendments to be in full compliance with the Criminal Law Convention, but it is noteworthy that in practice there appears to be a generally low level of investigated/adjudicated corruption cases in Malta.
Concerning transparency of political funding (Theme II), GRECO notes that political parties and election candidates are heavily dependent on private sources for their financing as there is almost no direct general public funding available. Political parties are under no transparency requirement or supervision in respect of their income and expenditure. The situation is slightly different in respect of election candidates, who are obliged to declare their income and expenses following elections; however, the existing rules appear ineffective. Moreover, Malta has progressively become a two-party system and politics in Malta are increasingly party orientated. GRECO calls for further regulations to provide for reasonable transparency and monitoring in respect of political financing, in order to be in line with Recommendation Rec(2003)4 on common rules against corruption in the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns, the principles of which Malta currently falls short.
The report as a whole addresses 9 recommendations to Malta. GRECO will assess the implementation of these recommendations in the first half of 2011, through its specific compliance procedure.