Group of States against corruption (GRECO)

Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption calls for rules on political funding and increased effectiveness of certain anti-corruption provisions in Switzerland

Press Release

Strasbourg, 2 December 2011 –  The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) today called for Switzerland to increase the effectiveness of criminal law particularly concerning bribery of foreign public officials and in the private sector, and to adopt legislation on political funding.

In its report (theme I / theme II), GRECO commends Switzerland’s solid body of criminal legislation on corruption. It notes, however, that the number of convictions is low in relation to the number of investigations opened, particularly as regards bribery in the private sector and bribery of foreign public officials, despite Switzerland’s important role in the international economy.

GRECO underlines that the Swiss legal system is almost alone in Europe in not imposing - at federal level and in nearly all cantons - any rules on transparency of political funding. Political parties are not subject to any binding rules in this area or to any supervisory arrangements concerning their income and expenditure. The same applies to campaigns for elections, citizens’ initiatives and referendums.

GRECO acknowledges that this situation may in part be a consequence of certain distinctive features of the Swiss political system, which enjoys a high degree of acceptance in the population and at international level, but highlights the negative aspects of this legal vacuum.

GRECO will monitor Switzerland’s responses to their report during 2013.

Link to the report:
English: Theme I / Theme II
Français: Thème I / Thème II
Deutsch: Thema I / Thema II*
Italiano: Tema I / Tema II*
* Translation provided by the authorities of Switzerland


GRECO was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor states’ compliance with the organisation’s anti-corruption standards. It currently comprises 48 European states and the United States of America.