In an interim compliance report on Austria, with respect to corruption prevention for members of parliament, judges and prosecutors, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) concludes that Austria has implemented satisfactorily or dealt with in a satisfactory manner only two of 19 recommendations made in 2017. (see also the French and German versions of the interim compliance report)
The very low level of compliance with recommendations regarding members of parliament has not evolved. Following the 2019 elections to the National Assembly, GRECO encourages the Austrian Parliament to “seriously deal” with implementing GRECO recommendations, concerning, among other issues, transparency of the legislative process and establishing a code of conduct (including handling various forms of conflicts of interest). Overall, GRECO “regrets the persistent lack of progress” in implementing most recommendations relating to MPs.
Concerning judges and prosecutors, GRECO notes that many measures in the making when the recommendations were adopted are still not finalised. Thus, amendments to the Federal Service Act for Judges and Public Prosecutors concerning the selection of judges and prosecutors, and improving their appraisal system have not been adopted. Nonetheless, progress is observed in some areas, including recent provisions prohibiting judges and prosecutors from simultaneously holding political positions in executive or legislative bodies. Further, the adoption of “Compliance Guidelines” for judges and prosecutors (code of ethics) is another important achievement, although the authorities should ensure effective supervision to implement rules contained in the Guidelines. Furthermore, in-service training on corruption prevention and integrity matters requires a more systematic approach.
Given the “globally unsatisfactory” level of compliance, GRECO asks Austria to provide a progress report on the implementation of outstanding recommendations no later than 30 September this year.