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Corruption of parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors : "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" must reinforce prevention

Press release

Strasbourg, 17 March 2014 – In a report published today on “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, the Council of Europe’s Anti-Corruption Group (GRECO) considers insufficient and expresses concern on the effectiveness of the implementation and enforcement of the legal framework governing the prevention of corruption among members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors.
 
For all three professional categories, there are rules in place regarding conflicts of interest, asset declarations and gifts. Nevertheless, GRECO considers that arrangements for compliance with these rules and their monitoring need to be improved.
 
A culture of integrity has yet to be developed among members of parliament. GRECO calls upon the Parliament to resume work on a code of conduct, which needs to be accompanied by a credible mechanism of supervision and sanction for misconduct.
 
Lots of efforts have been devoted to ensuring that the selection, appraisal and disciplinary liability of judges are decided according to objective criteria. Undue interference nevertheless still occur in practice. GRECO also found that productivity criteria are given too much weight in the appraisal of judges and that the decisions of the Judicial Council need to be made more transparent.

The State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption plays an important role in the anti-corruption policy, but its action is hampered by budgetary and staff constraints and by a certain lack of proactivity.

The implementation of the 19 recommendations addressed to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” will be assessed by GRECO in the second half of 2015 through its compliance procedure.

Link to the report

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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.