Group of States against corruption (GRECO)

Criminalisation of corruption and political financing in Finland - the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes its first Third Round Evaluation Report

[Strasbourg, 12/12/07] The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Third Round Evaluation Report on Finland. The report, which was adopted on 7 December 2007, has been made public following the agreement of the Finnish authorities.

The Report, which contains 17 recommendations addressed to Finland, calls for a more determined approach to the fight against corruption: GRECO found, inter alia, the existing penal sanctions in respect of bribery too weak - in the public as well as in the private sectors. GRECO also emphasised that bribery of members of Parliament is too narrowly defined in Finnish law. Moreover, GRECO recommends Finland to sharpen its present control over political financing, to increase the transparency of donations to political parties and election candidates as well as in relation to the way in which the funds received are spent. GRECO furthermore recommends to strengthen considerably the independence of the existing mechanisms involved in the supervision of political funding in Finland and to make that supervision more substantial and less formalistic. GRECO also calls for appropriate sanctions for the violation of funding rules.

GRECO’s Third Evaluation Round focuses on two distinct themes, namely (i) the criminalisation of corruption in accordance with the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173) and its Additional Protocol (ETS 191); and (ii) transparency of party funding in light of the Council of Europe Recommendation Rec(2003)4 on Common Rules against Corruption in the Funding of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns.
GRECO, which will monitor the implementation of the recommendations to Finland in the second half of 2009, through its specific compliance procedure, was pleased to learn that Finland is about to establish a work plan and a multidisciplinary working group to deal with GRECO’s recommendations.

Link to the report: Theme I / Theme II (pdf)