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Group of States against Corruption publishes report on Portugal

Press Release

Strasbourg, 8 December 2010 – The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) today published its Third Round Evaluation Report on Portugal, according to which although criminal legislation in respect of domestic bribery complies with Council of Europe standards, it needs to be amended to better cover such offences in the international context. GRECO also calls for more transparency in relation to political financing, in particular if the system is to allow more private based funding in the future.

Following the adoption of new legislation regarding the criminalisation of corruption (hyperlink to theme I), Portugal covers all forms of domestic corruption offences contained in the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and the Additional Protocol.

However, not all the corruption offences in the international context are covered, which is a major shortcoming. Sanctions for bribery concerning public officials have recently been aligned with European standards, but the sanctions for private sector bribery and trading in influence are weak and need to be revised. GRECO notes that only limited practice is available in applying bribery legislation and calls for training of the professionals involved.

Concerning transparency of party funding (hyperlink to theme II), GRECO acknowledges that Portugal, currently, has a relatively developed system in place, including detailed rules establishing the basis for and limits of private financing of political parties and election campaigns.

The monitoring of political financing, which is carried out by the Entity for Accounts and Political Financing and the Constitutional Court, appears rather cumbersome and its results are made available to the public at a very late stage. Allowing more private funding into the system, which is currently under debate in Portugal, would need to be connected to appropriate rules on transparency and monitoring.

In the report GRECO addresses 13 recommendations to Portugal. The implementation of these will be assessed by GRECO in the second half of 2012, through its specific compliance procedure