The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body (GRECO) today warned that public perceptions of low levels of corruption in certain countries may lead to underestimating the need for measures to combat corrupt practices. GRECO also expressed concern about the overall slow progress in implementing its recommendations and called on states to address them without delay.
In its annual report, GRECO reviews action taken by its 49 member states against corruption in 2018, notably in respect of MPs, judges and prosecutors, as well as its most recent evaluation round focusing on preventing corruption in central governments and law enforcement agencies.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said: “Corruption has devastating consequences for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Overall our member states have made progress to put in place measures to prevent and combat corruption, but much more needs to be done. GRECO´s recommendations are not optional. Governments, parliamentarians and other national authorities should show their commitment to fighting corruption by fully implementing GRECO´s recommendations”.
GRECO’s President, Marin Mrčela, said: “No country is immune to corruption. All countries, irrespective of their position in perception indexes, are required to take concrete measures to prevent and counter corruption. Relying on perceptions and underestimating the strength of preventive measures leaves the door open to behaviours which may very quickly turn into corruption”.