07 / 13 / 2018

Council of Europe

On 6 June, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the anticorruption body of the Council of Europe, published its sixth interim compliance report on transparency of party funding for Denmark in the framework of the third evaluation round. The country has implemented six out of the fourteen recommendations of the 2010 evaluation report. GRECO expressed its disappointment about “the limited results” achieved eight years after this first report.

On 14 June, GRECO published its second compliance report for the Netherlands in the framework of the fourth evaluation round on corruption prevention in respect of members of Parliament, judges and prosecutors. The country has implemented satisfactorily three of the seven recommendations contained in the fourth round evaluation report. The anticorruption body notably asked that both chambers of the Parliament establish guidelines for representatives’ contacts with “third parties”.

Furthermore, in a statement released on 22 June, GRECO criticized Poland’s legislation on the judiciary. The anticorruption body expressed concerns about the disrespect of anticorruption norms relating to judicial independence and about the rule of law in Poland.

On 28 June, the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunity and Institutional Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided a lifetime ban of 14 former representatives in the “caviargate” case. Involved in the affair of vote buying by the Azerbaijani Government, these former PACE members are deprived of access to the offices of the Council of Europe and of the Parliamentary Assembly.

European Union

In an article published in The Parliament Magazine on 6 June, the European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly justified the sending to the Parliament, on May, of a special report on the lack of transparency on Council’s deliberations. Mrs. O’Reilly underlined that citizens’ better knowledge on how their governments positioned themselves within this institution would give it more credit.

On 7 June, the European Banking Authority opened an investigation in relation to the Maltese anti-money laundering watchdog, over its handling of Pilatus Bank.  The watchdog froze the bank’s assets after the American judiciary had indicted its chair Ali Sadr Hasheminejad. The banker was accused of breaching the sanctions against Iran. On 30 June, the Maltese agency asked the European Banking Authority to withdraw the Pilatus Bank’s license.

African Union

In a letter sent on 8 June, the Ghanaian high official of the African Union (AU) Daniel Batidam announced his dismissal. His decision was taken to denounce corrupt practices within the Advisory Board on Corruption and others bodies of the international organization.

On 28 June, the AU’s Executive Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs opened in Nouakchott its 33rd ordinary session notably focusing on one of its main priorities for this year: fighting corruption. Regretting the annual 50 billion dollars loss due to this phenomenon, the President of the Commission of the AU, Moussa Faki Mahamat, called for a “multi-faceted action”.

International Partnership against Corruption in Sport

On 29 June, the International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) met in Lausanne to assess the actions implemented within it to deal with “the most urgent issues in the field of sport”. Three working groups presented their results on reducing the risk of corruption in procurement, respecting integrity in the selection procedures of major sport events and optimizing compliance processes. The next meeting of the working groups will take place in London in December 2018.

Civil society

On 7 June, Transparency International’s chapter in Brussels held a debate about the role of digital innovation in good governance in the public sector. On 21 June, another debate occurred on the issue of lobbying transparency. On this occasion, the Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans insisted on the need to extend full transparency to all the European institutions to enhance the legitimacy of their decisions. Daniel Freund, the head of advocacy for EU integrity at Transparency International EU, recalled the difficulty to regulate indirect lobbying.