Council of europe: germany must do more to fight corruption

council of europe: germany must do more to fight corruption

According to the council of europe’s anti-corruption body (greco), germany is not taking sufficient precautions against bribery in the german parliament and needs to make improvements.

The german delegation to the council of europe must now submit a report to the body in this matter by june 2020 at the latest, showing that greco recommendations in the fight against corruption in parliament and in the judiciary have also been implemented, the body, based in strabburg, france, announced on monday.

Greco criticized that german parliamentarians needed clearer rules for dealing with lobbyists, and that private conflicts of interest and company holdings of members of parliament had to be disclosed in greater detail. Germany has only insufficiently complied with previous greco recommendations. In addition to germany, greco said there are non-compliance cases against russia, hungary, turkey, france, ireland and austria, among others.

Greco had initiated a so-called non-compliance procedure against germany at the end of june because, in the opinion of the body, recommendations from 2015 had only been insufficiently taken into account.

Germany has already been reprimanded by greco recently for lack of transparency in party financing.

Transparency international called greco’s record "damning," and the bundestag’s "obstructionism" is no longer acceptable. "The german parliament must adopt clear rules for dealing with lobbyists and work to improve disclosure of conflicts of interest," said norman loeckel, deputy head of the organization’s policy working group.

The greco committee specifically denied that the bundestag would disclose company shares held by deputies that were below a limit of 25 percent of the voting rights. The "tagesspiegel" had reported on the report at the end of last week. Bundestag president wolfgang schauble (CDU) told the newspaper that the bundestag would deal with the greco recommendations after the summer recess. "I am sure that the parliamentary groups will carefully examine the recommendations of the report in the legal commission in order to bring the german legal situation and the recommendations from strabburg into line with each other."

The anti-corruption body said in its annual report that the overall rate of implementation of greco recommendations was declining. Only just under 34 percent of the recommendations had been fully applied in the member states in the past year.

The council of europe, based in strasbourg, france, and its bodies are responsible for human rights issues and are not part of the european union. Greco was launched 20 years ago and pays a total of 49 member states.