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Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption

Doc. 14344: collection of written amendments | Doc. 14344 | 26/06/2017 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirms that the fight against corruption remains not only a cornerstone of the rule of law but also a key component of a genuine democracy.

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, paragraph 1, after the word "democracy", insert the following words: "and essential in ensuring the protection of human rights."

2Frequent corruption scandals, both in national and European institutions, have led populist leaders to exploit the disenchantment of the people with the “corrupt elite”. Furthermore, the perception of corruption or misconduct negatively affects voter turnout and conditions citizens’ judgment regarding incumbent leaders and political institutions. The Assembly therefore considers that stepping up the fight against corruption and restoring trust in the efficiency and effectiveness of democratic institutions must be a priority for many European democracies, including European institutions.

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, paragraph 2, replace the words "many European democracies" with the following words: "all European democracies".

3The Assembly recalls, inter alia, its resolutions and recommendations on “Corruption as a threat to the rule of law” (Resolution 1943 (2013) and Recommendation 2019 (2013)), “Lobbying in a democratic society (European code of good conduct on lobbying)” (Recommendation 1908 (2010)), “Improving the protection of whistle-blowers” (Recommendation 2073 (2015) and Resolution 2060 (2015)), “Judicial corruption: urgent need to implement the Assembly’s proposals” (Resolution 2098 (2016) and Recommendation 2087 (2016)) and “Transparency and openness in European institutions” (Resolution 2125 (2016) and Recommendation 2094 (2016)) and stresses the importance of further promoting integrity in public governance.
4While welcoming existing anti-corruption, transparency and accountability measures at national, European and international levels, the Assembly also stresses the need to promote a political and cultural environment which is conducive to a corruption-resilient society. It believes that any anti-corruption and transparency initiative at national and European level should:
4.1take into account the diversity and richness of political, social, economic and cultural traditions in Council of Europe member States;
4.2receive strong grass-roots backing from a broad coalition of groups in society opposed to existing corrupt practices;
4.3be flexible enough to adapt and respond to new forms of corruption as they emerge.
5The Assembly takes note of the variety of functions, powers and mandates of national anti-corruption institutions, including multi-purpose anti-corruption agencies, law-enforcement bodies, policy co-ordination and prevention bodies, and internal control mechanisms by other public institutions. It calls on Council of Europe member States that have established separate specialised anti-corruption bodies to provide them with specialised skills, a clear mandate and sufficient powers, subject to proper checks and balances, in line with Committee of Ministers Resolution 97 (24) on the twenty guiding principles for the fight against corruption and the guidelines of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. It also calls on these bodies to develop their monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to examine their own performance and to improve public accountability and support, with the possible support of the Council of Europe.

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, paragraph 5, after the first sentence, insert the following sentence: "The Assembly reiterates its invitation to all member States to review and strengthen their legislation concerning the fight against corruption, ensuring that all acts of corruption are criminalised in accordance with the standards developed by relevant international instruments and monitoring bodies."

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, paragraph 5, after the words "Resolution 97 (24) on the twenty guiding principles for the fight against corruption", insert the following words: ", recommendations of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) of the Council of Europe".

6In the light of the above, the Assembly invites all Council of Europe member and observer States and States whose parliaments enjoy observer or partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly to step up the fight against corruption by:
6.1promoting integrity and transparency in public life at all levels, in particular by:

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.1, insert the following paragraph:

"signing or ratifying without delay, if they have not yet done so, the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS No. 173), its additional protocol (ETS No. 191) and the Civil Law Convention on Corruption (ETS No. 174);".

6.1.1adopting sound rules on the declaration of assets, income and financial and other interests by members of government and parliament, by leaders of political parties and political movements and by civil servants, judges and prosecutors;
6.1.2making such declarations easily accessible to the public;
6.1.3setting up independent supervisory bodies and regulating lobbying activities, in line with Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)2 on the legal regulation of lobbying activities in the context of public decision making;
6.2ensuring full co-operation with the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) and implementing their recommendations;

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.2, at the end, insert the following words: "without further delay, especially those emanating from GRECO’s Fourth Evaluation Round, which focused, inter alia, on the prevention of corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors;"

6.3ensuring the independence of the judiciary through transparent appointment and promotion procedures and, if need be, the use of appropriate disciplinary measures, applied by bodies free from political interference and other undue influence;
6.4acknowledging the role of the media in denouncing corruption and ensuring that media regulation respects media freedom and responsibility;

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.4, insert the following paragraph:

"continuing to improve the protection of whistle-blowers in law and practice;"

6.5implementing the Recommendation on Public Integrity issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which provides a blueprint for upholding and prioritising the public interest over private interests in the public sector;
6.6considering establishing specialised integrity units in public institutions to promote ethics, accountability and transparency;
6.7paying attention to the regional and local level and considering setting up an institutional source of confidential counselling to provide local representatives with guidance and advice on ethical and integrity questions and possible conflicts of interest, as well as dedicated training activities;
6.8organising public awareness anti-corruption campaigns targeting various groups of citizens, media, non-governmental organisations, businesses and the general public;
6.9developing integrity education programmes as part of primary and secondary school curricula, focusing on individual and social responsibility, with the support of the Council of Europe.
7In addition to the traditional approaches based on legislation, specialised institutions and stricter compliance and enforcement, governments should pay particular attention, through further academic and policy research, to the ways in which corruption was and is embedded in social and cultural values, as these provide the essential environment in which institutional reforms and anti-corruption initiatives can succeed.
8Furthermore, the Assembly calls on all parliaments of Council of Europe member and observer States and parliaments which enjoy observer or partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly to further promote transparency and accountability measures, in particular by:
8.1developing a code of conduct covering guidance on the prevention of conflicts of interest, gifts and other advantages, accessory activities and financial interests, disclosure requirements, and making it easily accessible to the public;

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 8.1, insert the following words: ", in line with Recommendation No. R (2000) 10 of the Committee of Ministers on codes of conduct for public officials;"

8.2considering setting up an institutionalised source of confidential counselling to provide elected representatives with guidance and advice on ethical and integrity questions and possible conflicts of interest, as well as dedicated training activities;
8.3ensuring that parliamentary immunity does not protect members of parliament from criminal prosecution for corruption-related acts;
8.4setting up specific parliamentary scrutiny procedures, with special emphasis on the implementation of recommendations emanating from GRECO’s Fifth Evaluation Round, focusing on preventing corruption and promoting integrity in central governments (top executive functions) and law- enforcement agencies;
8.5ensuring that co-operation with the investigative media is based on reasonably sound proof, and implementing Resolution … (2017) “Parliamentary scrutiny over corruption: parliamentary co-operation with the investigative media”.
9In accordance with the Code of Good Practice in the Field of Political Parties of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), the Assembly invites all political parties to exclude from their lists of candidates and from party membership any person convicted of corruption.
10For its part, the Assembly resolves to:
10.1pay special attention to the revision and effective implementation of its own Code of Conduct;
10.2fully support the independent external investigation body to look into allegations of corruption within the Assembly;
10.3strengthen its own Anti-corruption Platform with the aim of promoting integrity campaigns in national parliaments;
10.4provide a sound regulation for lobbying activities.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10.4, after the words "lobbying activities", insert the following words: "including through the set-up of a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe transparency register, following the example of the European Parliament".

11Finally, the Assembly reiterates its call on the European Union to pursue full accession to GRECO as soon as possible, and respect the principle of equal treatment among members of GRECO, which involves the evaluation of European Union institutions by GRECO’s mechanisms, taking into account its specificity as a non-State entity.

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft resolution, at the beginning of paragraph 11, insert the following words: "The Assembly welcomes the inclusion of the fight against corruption, including its intention to participate in GRECO in the long term, amongst the EU’s priorities for cooperation with the Council of Europe in 2016-2017. The Assembly further welcomes the publication by the European Ombudsman of practical recommendations for public officials’ interaction with interest representatives (representatives of interest groups), as well as the European Parliament resolution of 16 May 2017 (2016/2097(INI)), which called for the European Union to advance its application for membership of GRECO as soon as possible."

CDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2017) on promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption, stresses the need to promote a political and cultural environment conducive to a corruption-resilient society, which is a cornerstone of a genuine democracy.
2The Assembly welcomes Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)2 on the legal regulation of lobbying activities in the context of public decision making.
3In order to further strengthen the implementation of existing anti-corruption standards and recommendations of Council of Europe member States, the Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to pay particular attention, through further research, to the ways in which corruption was and is embedded in social and cultural values in individual member States, as these provide the essential environment in which anti-corruption initiatives can succeed.
4Since anti-corruption and integrity strategies are more likely to succeed when they receive strong grass-roots backing from civil society and other relevant actors in the fight against corruption, the Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to:

26 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In the draft recommendation, after paragraph 4, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly reiterates its call on the Committee of Ministers to further improve the protection of whistle-blowers by launching the process of negotiating a binding legal instrument in the form of a framework convention on whistle-blower protection on the basis of its Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7, taking into account recent developments."

4.1strengthen dialogue between civil society and local, national and European institutions by launching a campaign on integrity and anti-corruption aimed at mobilising a network of policy makers, experts, scholars, intellectuals, journalists, non-governmental organisations and students;
4.2give a prominent role to integrity and anti-corruption education in the Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture, targeting primary and secondary schools and higher education and vocational training institutions throughout Europe;
4.3consider including integrity and anti-corruption aspects in a revised version of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education;
4.4develop anti-corruption education projects in the framework of the Council of Europe–European Union joint programme “Human Rights and Democracy in Action”;
4.5pay specific attention to corruption in education, in particular regarding access to higher education and higher education qualifications, and engage in reflection on a possible convention on education fraud;
4.6ask Council of Europe member States that have established separate specialised anti-corruption bodies to ensure their independence and provide them with specialised skills, a clear mandate and sufficient powers, subject to proper checks and balances, in line with Committee of Ministers Resolution 97 (24) on the twenty guiding principles for the fight against corruption and the guidelines of the United Nations Convention against Corruption;
4.7invite the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) to provide a platform for anti-corruption authorities in its member States in order to gather and discuss good practice and current challenges in the fight against corruption and the promotion of integrity in public life, and consider setting up a network at European level.