09 / 21 / 2018

Council of Europe

On 9 August, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the anti-corruption body of the Council of Europe, considered that Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia made no substantial progress in implementing recommendations on preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. In particular, second compliance report of fourth evaluation round underlined the lack of meaningful development to strengthen the control function and the independence of the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC).

In a report published on 10 August, GRECO found that Switzerland had made no progress in implementing its recommendations on the transparency of party and election campaign funding. The anti-corruption body expressed regret that the Swiss federal government maintained its position of not legislating on the matter.

On 21 August, GRECO released its fifth round evaluation report on Latvia. This round focuses on preventing corruption and promoting integrity in top executive functions and law enforcement agencies. GRECO concluded that Latvia’s integrity and corruption prevention framework was fairly comprehensive, and that significant resources had been injected to curb corruption, strengthen accountability, and enhance public trust. Yet, the body detected a number of shortcomings and advocated improvements. For instance, GRECO recommended that the veracity of asset declarations of political officials be systematically scrutinized in a thorough and independent manner.

European Union

On 10 August, the French-speaking Belgian Radio and Television (RTBF) devoted a program to the regulation of lobbying. The guests included Emmanuel Foulon, spokesman of the Socialist Party in the European Parliament, and Raphaël Kergueno, representative of Transparency International EU.

On 12 August, the Financial Times echoed the EU’s willingness to consider sanctions against member states that award citizenships to wealthy individuals from outside the bloc for large sums of money.  The European Commissioner for Justice, Věra Jourová, guaranteed that these measures, implemented in eight member states, would be monitored as part of the EU’s action against money laundering and corruption.

In an interview with Libération, published on 31 August, Olivier Hoedeman, coordinator of the Corporate Europe Observatory, a research and campaign group, called for the strengthening of transparency and control of interest representation activities in Brussels. He denounced the disproportionate influence of private lobbies on EU decision-making.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

On 14 August, Global News reported on the evolution of FIFA’s code of ethics and observed that the term “corruption” was deleted. “Bribery, misappropriation of funds and manipulation of football matches or competitions” were solely maintained. Henceforth, a prescription period of ten years is applicable to these practices. An article on defamation was also added to the code.

Civil Society

On 6 and 7 August, Buenos Aires hosted the Civil 20 (C20) summit, which gathers civil society organizations in order to amplify the voice of civil society in anticipation of the next G20 meeting. The fight against corruption was at the heart of the debate. Despite numerous anti-corruption commitments from G20 leaders, representatives of civil society considered that the results did not meet their expectations. Transparency International’s chair, Delia Ferreira Rubio, addressed the meeting to advocate for anticorruption action, implementation, and reports.

Transparency updated its “Anti-corruption Pledge Tracker” for 2018. This tool monitors the progress of the commitments made by governments at the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit in London.