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Group of States Against Corruption publishes report on Andorra

Press Release

Strasbourg, 15 June 2011 –  The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) today published its Third Round Evaluation Report on Andorra, in which it finds that further amendments to the Criminal Code are necessary to comply with Council of Europe standards. GRECO also calls for considerable changes to the legislation on political financing.

Regarding the criminalisation of corruption [Theme I – link to report], Andorra is legally equipped to respond to a certain extent to the requirements of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, which it has ratified.

However, the restrictive manner in which some of the bribery and trading in influence offences are incriminated may explain in part the absence of prosecutions and convictions for such offences, and even of cases pending. GRECO identified some shortcomings with respect, for example, to the criminalisation of bribery in cases where non-material benefits are involved and the criminalisation of bribery in the private sector.

Andorra is also called upon to provide stiffer penalties for bribery and trading in influence offences and to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption.

Concerning the transparency of political financing [Theme II – link to report], the election financing law of 15 December 2000 provides for public funding for election candidates and its provisions are intended to ensure that these public funds are used properly under the supervision of the court of audit. However, this law is only concerned with certain private funding sources and electoral expenditure, in practice, the part that is eligible for reimbursement by the state. It is not designed to ensure the overall transparency of political financing nor to avoid the risk of undue financial influence on public decision making.

Andorra therefore needs to make considerable changes to its legislation by requiring, in particular, that political groupings publish their accounts on a regular basis (including the names of major donors and in kind support). The supervision of political financing also needs to be more effective and complemented with a more extended range of proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

GRECO addresses 20 recommendations to Andorra. In the first half of 2013, GRECO will assess the implementation of these recommendations through its specific compliance procedure.

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GRECO was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor states’ compliance with the organisation’s anti-corruption standards. Currently it comprises 48 European states and the United States of America.

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