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‘United, we can fight corruption’, says Anne Brasseur

“United, we can fight corruption,” said Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), speaking today at the end of a working visit to Rome, Italy.

At the invitation of Laura Boldrini, Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Ms Brasseur participated in a conference organised by the Italian Parliament on “codes of conduct for parliamentarians”, as a tool to prevent and fight corruption by MPs.

“The Parliamentary Assembly, along with other Council of Europe bodies, has on numerous occasions pointed out that the integrity of public officials is a fundamental prerequisite for reliable and efficient public administration, and a key element for public trust in political institutions,” she said. “The Parliamentary Assembly itself adopted its own code of conduct in 2012 in order to improve its members’ political responsibility. Since then, the Assembly has never stopped discussing ways to better promote transparency and honesty in the public life, most recently within the framework of the PACE anti-corruption platform.”

“I want to praise the commitment of the Italian authorities to the fight against this scourge on our societies, and I encourage them to continue their efforts. The forthcoming adoption of a code of conduct for parliamentarians, in particular, is very welcome and also timely given the current evaluation by GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, which deals also with ‘Corruption Prevention in Respect of Members of Parliaments’.”

“As politicians we must act as role models: it is our responsibility to re-establish confidence in politics, and this is only possible if we adopt a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to corruption, which is seriously undermining our democratic systems.”

The importance of eradicating corruption in public life, along with the fight against hatred and intolerance and migration challenges, was also discussed with the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella. “It was a great pleasure to congratulate personally President Mattarella on his recent election and to have the chance to discuss with him issues of mutual interest. I would be honoured to welcome him to Strasbourg in the near future”, said Ms Brasseur.

During her working visit, the PACE President met with the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, and the Minister for Constitutional Reforms and Relations with the Parliament, Maria Elena Boschi. She also participated in the meeting of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.