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News Flash - 9 October 2006

Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes report on the Republic of Serbia

Council of Europeís Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes report on the Republic of Serbia The Council of Europeís anti-corruption monitoring mechanism, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Joint First and Second Round Evaluation Report on the Republic of Serbia (link to report). The report is made public with the agreement of the Serbian authorities.

The report stresses that in Serbia corruption is perceived as a significant problem which affects many sectors of the public service. The sectors considered as being the worst affected appear to be the judiciary, the municipalities, the customs service, the police and health care. The report nevertheless acknowledges the efforts displayed by the authorities in the fight against corruption, which include inter alia the setting up of an anti-corruption strategy and action plan, and the carrying out of a judicial reform aimed at ensuring integrity and better functioning of the judiciary.

GRECO addresses 25 recommendations to Serbia. In particular, there is a need for greater specialisation and co-operation of the bodies involved in the detection and prosecution of corruption offences. Regarding public administration, it is also necessary to speed up the institution of an Ombudsperson at central level, to adopt and subsequently disseminate codes of conduct for civil servants at national level, to extend the current rules on conflicts of interest to all public officials and to ensure adequate protection for whistleblowers. Finally, GRECO recommends to establish liability of legal persons for corruption, money laundering and trading in influence and to provide for effective, appropriate and dissuasive sanctions.

Measures taken by the Republic of Serbia to implement these recommendations will be addressed by GRECO in the context of a specific compliance procedure in the first half of 2008.