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Italy becomes 45th member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO)

Strasbourg, 02/07/07 - Italy has notified the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of its intention to accede to GRECO, of which it has become the 45th member as from 30 June 2007.

The composition of this enlarged partial agreement is now very near to that of the Council of Europe, of which it counts all member States (with the exception of Liechtenstein and San-Marino), as well as the United States of America.

This accession confirms Italy’s commitment to pursuing its fight against corruption, a plague it had already started to tackle with measures such as the judicial operation known as “mani pulite” (clean hands) during the 90’s. By joining GRECO, Italy joins its forces with the other member States to fight a form of criminality that affects notably the democratic functioning of institutions and infringes the rule of law.

As a member of GRECO, Italy will participate in the mutual evaluation and peer pressure processes which characterise GRECO. As all other countries that have recently joined this monitoring mechanism, the country will be evaluated on site to deal with issues related to the First and Second Evaluation Rounds which were conducted between 1999 and 2006 (notably the capability of institutions to deal with corruption cases, immunities as an obstacle to prosecution of corruption cases, measures for seizure of corruption proceeds and preventive measures taken within the public administration). A further evaluation of Italy, in the framework of GRECO’s newly launched Third Evaluation Round, will be carried out at a later stage, and deal with incriminations of corruption and transparency of party funding.