News flashes /
Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption calls on Italy to improve transparency in political party funding and to sanction corruption vigorously
Strasbourg, 11 April 2012 – The
Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) identified
critical shortcomings in the party funding system of Italy which must be
addressed as a matter of priority. The control performed by public
authorities over political funding is fragmented and formalistic, consisting
of three different institutions with limited powers and no co-ordination
either among themselves or with law enforcement bodies. GRECO urges
political parties to develop their own internal control systems and to
subject their accounts to independent audit. GRECO recommends more
transparency in political finances by substantially lowering the 50,000 EUR
threshold under which the identity of the donor remains unknown to the
public. Likewise, anonymous donations must be banned. Moreover, GRECO calls
for appropriate sanctions for the violation of funding rules, which must
also be applied in practice.
GRECO furthermore underlines the need for Italy to ratify the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and its Additional Protocol and to fully incorporate them into national law. Italy is one of the very few member states which are not party to these instruments. GRECO is particularly concerned about the effectiveness of the sanctioning regime for corruption offences in Italy and the high risk of prosecuted cases being dismissed as time barred.
The report contains 16 recommendations to be assessed during 2014.