Group of States against corruption (GRECO)

Council of Europe Anti-corruption body calls on Austria to ratify the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and to improve transparency of political funding

Press Release

Strasbourg, 13 January 2012 –  The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) today called for Austria to ratify the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, to fully implement it, and to swiftly and substantially improve legislation on political funding.

In its report, GRECO stresses that Austria is one of the very few Council of Europe member states which are not a party to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and its Additional Protocol. Although criminal legislation on corruption is quite developed, it does not adequately criminalise offences such as bribery of members of elected public assemblies or bribery of senior public officials. The latter cannot be prosecuted whenever gifts and other gratuities are permitted in the administrative regulations or the employing institution's internal rules. Moreover, Austrian top executives are usually not subject to such regulations.

The legal framework on the financing of political parties, which dates back to 1975, focuses on the allocation of public subsidies to political parties and their activities. Private donations are not regulated and Austria has no public supervision mechanism, even though political financing is seen as a particularly controversial area, reportedly affected by a variety of malpractices.

Parliamentary work was initiated in 2010 to fill the gaps and GRECO encourages Austria to provide for adequate transparency and supervision of the financing of political parties and elections campaigns, including sanctions in case of non compliance.

GRECO will monitor Austria’s responses to the report during 2013.

Link to the report:
English: Theme I / Theme II
Français: Thème I / Thème II
Deutsch: Thema I / Thema II*
* Translations provided by the authorities of Austria.

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