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The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes its Third Round Evaluation Report on Luxembourg

[Strasbourg, 25/08/08] The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Third Round Evaluation Report on Luxembourg. The report, which was adopted on 13 June 2008, has been made public following the agreement of the authorities. It focuses on two distinct themes: criminalisation of corruption and transparency of party funding.

Regarding the criminalisation of corruption [theme I], Luxembourg's legal framework complies to a large extent with the standards of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173) and its Additional Protocol (ETS 191). The shortcomings that do appear often reflect apparent oversights by parliament or a lack of consistency between neighbouring provisions. This is the case for the criminalisation of bribery of foreign public officials and the employees of international organizations, and that of trading in influence. The provisions on private sector bribery also raise certain questions. As regards the basic offences of active and passive bribery, it is not always clear whether unilateral acts of corruption – giving and receiving – can be prosecuted without the need to show that there was a corrupt pact between the parties, which is always difficult to establish, when it exists. In some cases, Luxembourg has restricted its jurisdiction over corruption-related offences. In practice, the number of convictions for corruption remains very low, reportedly due to the criminal authorities' lack of legal and other resources.

Concerning transparency of party funding [theme II], GRECO welcomed the adoption of the law on political party funding of 21 December 2007. This legislation, which came into force on 1 January 2008, introduces public funding of routine party activities. At the same time, it introduces rules on transparency and monitoring, and penalties for breaches of the regulations, which fill an important gap in Luxembourg legislation. Some gaps still remain, in so far as insufficient account was taken of the financing of election campaigns and of candidates for election. Because the law breaks such new ground, the impact of the improvements in the area of transparency, monitoring (by the Court of Auditors) and sanctions still need to be determined; at least on paper, there are some lacunae.

The report as a whole addresses 17 recommendations to Luxembourg. GRECO will assess the implementation of these recommendations in the beginning of 2010, through its specific compliance procedure.