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GRECO publishes horizontal study on Political financing
Strasbourg, 29 June 2010 - “Political Financing: GRECO’s first 22 evaluations” focuses on three key topics examined by GRECO during its current Third Evaluation Round, namely the transparency of political funding, monitoring compliance with existing regulations and the penalties for those who breach those regulations. The report brings to light weaknesses that are common to several political systems and suggests the transposition of positive practices identified. As the author of this innovative study, Mr Yves-Marie DOUBLET (France), points out in the introduction, although political systems can differ significantly from one member state to another, the principles set out in the Council of Europe Recommendation (2003) 4 on common rules against corruption in the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns are “common to all these countries and are of critical importance to them, whatever the form of their institutions, because they share the same democratic values.” The report contains a number of conclusions emphasising, inter alia, the importance of proper disclosure and truly effective monitoring of financial information of parties and election candidates. It also calls for a more general discussion to highlight the interdependence of the different problems identified. For such an approach, the Council of Europe Recommendation – which is the only international text laying down these key elements of a smooth functioning democracy – provides an excellent basis. Clearly, debate on political financing is far from over and further input is to be expected from GRECO’s on-going evaluation work. At the end of the Third Evaluation Round, a total of 47 member states will have been evaluated against the standards of the Recommendation. The action taken by member states to implement GRECO’s recommendations is assessed in a specific compliance procedure.