Group of States against corruption (GRECO)

The Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes its Third Round Evaluation Report on Spain

Press Release

Strasbourg, 28 May 2009 - The Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes today its Third Round Evaluation Report on Spain focusing on two distinct themes: criminalisation of corruption and transparency of party funding.

The report as a whole addresses 15 recommendations to Spain. GRECO will assess the implementation of these recommendations in the first half of 2011, through its specific compliance procedure.

Regarding the criminalisation of corruption [theme I], despite the fact that Spain has been a member of GRECO since 1999, it has not yet ratified the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and its Additional Protocol (the latter has been signed on 27 May 2009). GRECO identified some important shortcomings: for example, with respect to bribery in the public sector, the complex legal framework is deficient in its international dimension. Moreover, bribery in the private sector is not criminalised at all; this is an important lacuna since this form of corruption may cause significant damage to society at large given the value of the sums (and potential bribes) involved in business transactions. Finally, GRECO found some of the penal sanctions too weak in respect of bribery and trading in influence.

Concerning transparency of party funding [theme II], GRECO acknowledged the efforts displayed in this area through the introduction of new legislation in 2007. GRECO advised on the next steps to be taken to improve the system: for example, to grant public access to meaningful and timely information on political party accounts, including financial information on local branches and political foundations. It is also essential that the existing sanctioning system be further regulated and that the financial discipline of political parties be strengthened, in particular by reinforcing their internal audit control.

Link to the report: Incriminations / Transparency of Party Funding