The Council of Europe has developed international standards for the prevention and fight against corruption. Despite the important achievements resulting from the implementation of these standards and monitoring by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), concerns over fraud and corruption are growing.
Very recently, the Parliamentary Assembly has stressed the importance of the fight against this threat to European values and recommended a stronger parliamentary dimension in the Council of Europe’s general machinery for combating corruption. This call has led to the creation of the Assembly anti-corruption platform, a forum for dialogue and co-operation on the promotion of honesty and transparency in public life.
Parliamentarians have a paramount responsibility in combating corruption in all of its forms, and in ensuring that any corrupt behaviour is punished. MPs can in fact take action by introducing prevention measures, promoting integrity within their own ranks, and enhancing collaboration with the civil society.
Referring to the many cases of corruption uncovered by media, parliaments need to reinforce the practice of co-operating with journalists and whistle-blowers. This requires a set of common principles and mechanisms to be implemented in all European countries.
The Assembly should examine this issue and propose practical measures that could be promoted by parliaments in order to ensure an effective collaboration with journalists revealing corrupt practices.