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Little progress on political funding transparency - Council of Europe anti-corruption group concerned
Strasbourg, 19 June 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.
“The poor record of some of our member states in responding positively and swiftly to GRECO recommendations is indeed a source of concern. In most cases this situation reflects the difficulty, and sometimes the impossibility to reach a viable agreement among political parties to improve the transparency of political financing. There are also many success stories of countries that have made progress, but clearly, more needs to be done to make corruption prevention in political life a priority”, said GRECO Chair Marin Mrčela.
In 2013 GRECO visited ten countries to prepare evaluation reports on the prevention of corruption within the ranks of parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors. During the year it adopted 9 reports concerning this topic, and another 29 follow up reports on the criminalisation of corruption and the transparency of funding of political parties and electoral campaigns.
One of the challenges on GRECO´s horizon is the possible accession of the European Union, which should involve the evaluation of EU institutions by GRECO. The European Commission has launched an impact assessment in consultation with EU institutions in order to analyse the feasibility and possible modalities of such accession.
In 2013 GRECO started a reflection, led by its Gender Equality Rapporteur Helena Lišuchová, on how to incorporate a gender perspective to its work, and to corruption prevention generally, for example when examining the typology and impact of corruption or through the collection and analysis of statistics disaggregated by gender.
The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is a Council of Europe body that aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with anti-corruption standards. It helps states to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. Currently it comprises the 47 Council of Europe member states, Belarus and the United States of America.