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Council of Europe anti-corruption Group calls on states to strengthen
corruption prevention concerning parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors
Strasbourg, 13 June 2013 – In its annual report published today, the Council of Europe anti-corruption group (GRECO) calls on European states to bolster the legal and institutional capacity of their parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors in order to prevent and unequivocally address corruption in their own ranks.
GRECO concludes that these three professional groups need to better
internalise prevention corruption as part of their daily jobs and be
proactive in developing precise and transparent codes of conduct reinforced
by credible mechanisms of supervision and sanction.
“Corruption cases involving parliamentarians, judges or prosecutors have a devastating effect on the trust citizens have in their democratic institutions. Citizens depend on these professionals to tackle corruption wherever it exists and so they must also lead by example. If corrupt behaviour is tolerated within their own ranks, its corrosive effects spread like a disease. Not only governments, but also Members of Parliament, and the governing bodies of judges and prosecutors must take determined action to instil, maintain and promote a culture of integrity. They must act swiftly when conduct falls below acceptable standards”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
In 2012, GRECO launched its latest and fourth evaluation round, to evaluate how states address issues such as conflicts of interest, declarations of assets and interests, gifts, lobbying, transparency of the political processes, and involvement in other professional activities with regard to Members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors.
GRECO has so far published evaluation reports on Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and United Kingdom. In 2013 it will finalise reports on “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovak Republic, Spain and Sweden.
In its report, GRECO also presents for the first time statistics on the overall levels of compliance with its recommendations by 45 of its 49 members with regard to its 1st and 2nd evaluation rounds. Some three years after they were first evaluated more than three-quarters of Member States had complied with GRECO´s recommendations fully. However the report also points out that sustained progress to implement GRECO recommendations, particularly with respect to its 3rd evaluation round and political party financing, requires the full commitment of governments and elected officials.
The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is a Council of Europe
body that aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by
monitoring their compliance with anti-corruption standards. It helps states
to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the
necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. Currently it
comprises 48 European states and the United States of America.
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