In December 2016 PACE co-organized in co-operation with the directorate general of human rights and the rule of law and Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, at the Council of Europe Office in Venice, a hearing of experts to discuss “corruption and its trends: a policy challenge”. Ensuing discussions informed Mr Michele Nicoletti’s report “Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption” of 16 June 2017.

Ms Nicoletta Parisi, member of the Italian Anticorruption Authority, highlighted the institution’s main challenges, including the bureaucratic attitude in implementing anticorruption plans; difficulties in legally protecting whistle-blowers; and the large size of the machine necessary to monitor public administration. According to the PACE report, the Italian case shows interesting examples of how new forms of corruption should lead to special measures aimed at creating transparency in governance. Mr Raffaele Cantone, President of the Italian Anticorruption Authority, speaking in Strasbourg, stressed how corruption had changed in Italy over the last 20 years and was now a means of penetrating political life and clinging to power.

Mr Mark Knights of Warwick University spoke of what the United Kingdom’s history can tell us about corruption and how some societies managed to progressively prevent and eliminate it. PACE adopted a resolution and a recommendation on the basis of Mr Nicoletti’s report.

Ms Emanuela Ceva of Pavia University presented various models of political corruption.

In October 2017 the Office invited Mr Michele Nicoletti, formerly President of the Italian delegation to the Council of Europe and President of the Parliamentary Assembly since 22 January 2018, to speak of the fight against political corruption at a lecture organised in cooperation with Ca’ Foscari University.

Nicoletti spoke of political corruption in relation to different national contexts and highlighted the importance of governance integrity and democracy to fight it. The President pointed out the progress undertaken by the Italian Parliament in this respect and the importance of considering the historical and cultural roots of each country in order to improve measures to fight corruption.