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Anti-corruption body GRECO will carry out urgent evaluations of Greece and Slovenia

During its plenary meeting, held from 17 to 21 June, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) decided to carry out ad hoc urgent evaluations of legislation reforming the Criminal Code in Greece and in relation to the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary in Slovenia.

As regards Greece, at issue is a provision that would convert many felonies into lesser misdemeanours, which could close many felony cases, a number of which involve corruption-related offences. This legislation may run counter the Council of Europe anti-corruption standards, which had been the subject already of an earlier GRECO evaluation round for Greece and may have wider implication in respect of corruption investigations and international cooperation.

The decision to launch an ad hoc evaluation of Slovenia was taken against the background of a procedural initiative by the National Council to start investigating the “political responsibility of state prosecutors and judges”. GRECO recalls that corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors was the topic of its 4th evaluation round. GRECO requested the Slovenian authorities to submit by 30 June 2019 at the latest any additional information concerning this issue.

President of GRECO Marin Mrčela said: “GRECO follows very closely developments in all our member states and we will continue to react through the urgent evaluation procedure as and when we see initiatives that may run counter to the Council of Europe anti-corruption standards.”

The urgent evaluation is permitted under Article 34 of GRECO´s Rules of Procedure to allow an “ad hoc procedure in exceptional circumstances”. Subject to developments, GRECO is planning to carry out the evaluations in the autumn of 2019 before adopting the reports during its plenary meeting in December 2019. The rule was used last year in cases related to Romania and Poland.

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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 the 47 Council of Europe member states, Belarus and the United States of America.
Strasbourg 24/06/2019
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