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Council of Europe publishes first report ever on fighting corruption in Liechtenstein
Strasbourg, 31 October 2012 Ė The
Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), one of the Council of Europeís
monitoring bodies established to protect democracy and the rule of law in
Europe, has just released its first report on Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein is stepping-up its efforts against corruption. In 2010, the country joined GRECO and ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Principality has appointed specialists to design policies and to investigate effectively the various forms of corruption. These efforts complement those that are ongoing in the area of the prevention of money laundering.
The report, which has just been released, shows that the country is in the early stages of implementing effective anti-corruption measures. Its limited size is thought to prevent corruption but in a context of closer social relationships, there is a clear need to improve awareness of potential problems posed by situations that give rise to conflicts of interest. Also the current approach does not take into account the broad variety of forms of bribery, such as favours and gratuities, beyond strictly material bribes.
Building a modern judiciary in a country the size of Liechtenstein is always a challenge. New measures adopted in 2009 limit at present risks of interference in the prosecutorsí work but the Prince retains in principle the power to block and terminate any investigation or prosecution. It is suggested to also keep under review the appointment process concerning judges.
Certain types of legal persons are still exposed to risks of misuse for criminal purposes and the supervision of trustees and similar professions needs strengthening.
GRECO will assess the action taken by Liechtenstein in response to the report in the second half of 2013.
Links to the Report:
GRECO was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor statesí compliance with the organisationís anti-corruption standards. It currently comprises 48 European states and the United States of America.