The fight against corruption is one of the main priorities of the Greek government. With this aim in mind, and based on European and international best practices, a new law was adopted in March 2015 (Law 4320/2015 (Gov. Gaz. A’ 29/19-03-2015)), which notably established the General Secretariat Against Corruption. The Greek government aims for the GSAC to be strong and reliable, as:
- a completely independent authority, per European and international legislation and best practices . In particular, the Alternate Minister of Justice enjoys full independence, in the sense that he reports directly to the Prime Minister and is answerable only to the Prime Minister and the Parliament, according to art. 81 par. 1 of the Greek Constitution, as well as art. 41, par. 3 of the codified presidential degree no. 63/2005.Moreover, an additional guarantee of independence is the fact that the GSAC has its own budget.
- an operational Service, in the sense that the Alternate Minister of Justice has more powers to resolve conflicts, remove overlapping responsibilities and enhance the coordination of supervisory bodies and investigative authorities.
Regarding GSAC’s competences in general, it must be noted that the GSAC:
- takes the necessary steps and actions to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of the national strategy, with particular emphasis on coordination of control bodies and the efficiency of their operations, and provide relevant instructions and recommendations.
- is defined as the authority responsible for coordinating the fight against fraud (AFCOS) in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 3 of Regulation (EE, Euratom) No. 883/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of September 11, 2013 (EU L248),
- collaborates with international organizations and institutions and European Union agencies or other countries to develop and andimplementat programs and strategic projects, share best practices and obtain technical assistance to combat corruption and fraud,
- removes conflicts and resolves issues related to the overlap of responsibilities between departments or agencies involved in fighting corruption, making suggestions for their effective resolution.
“The fight against corruption will not be successful if it lies only in the hands of anti-corruption authorities. It is therefore the duty and responsibility of the whole of society, including public services, but above all of the political leadership, to ensure the promotion of accountability and morality as its primary concern and its determination to fight corruption, wherever it may be. Moreover, a leader must have strong will and commitment, in order to make serious and important decisions, as well as political intuition, ability to predict and above all moral stature. “