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The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes its report on Monaco

[Strasbourg, 14/11/08] The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published today its Joint First and Second Round Evaluation Report on Monaco (link to the report). The report is made public with the agreement of the country’s authorities.

The recent ratification of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173) of the Council of Europe was a first step for the Principality of Monaco in respect of the introduction of specific anti-corruption measures, and it was indicated that GRECO’s report would serve as a basis for further discussions and new initiatives in this area.

The phenomenon of corruption is considered little developed in Monaco and the country attaches great importance to the preservation of its image, which may potentially result in cases not reaching the justice system. Monaco has no record of a conviction or court decision in this area, despite sectors sometimes considered to be at risk, and significant gaps in anti-corruption measures and internal/external controls regarding public administration and public officials; the latter often ignore the few preventive measures that do already exist. The GET identified further deficiencies which could explain the few cases uncovered to date. For instance, the most advanced mechanisms in the area of detection, seizure and confiscation of proceeds from crime which have been introduced in recent years in the anti-money laundering context, do not fully apply to the fight against corruption and remain limited to the scope of organised crime and drug trafficking; and this, despite the fact that the Principality itself has to face a non negligible economic and financial delinquency. Another example of gaps is the non-tax deductibility of bribery-related expenditures, which is not clearly provided for, and in parallel, the fact that the tax administration does not feel involved in the detection and reporting of possible criminal offences including corruption. Finally, it was also found that there is room for improvement in further areas, such as the status of the prosecutors and judges, including the protection of the prosecutorial work in criminal matters.

GRECO has issued 28 recommendations, in total, in the above-mentioned areas. Measures taken by Monaco to implement these recommendations will be assessed by GRECO in the context of a specific compliance procedure in the second half of 2010.