When is it appropriate for government members, civil servants or parliamentarians to accept gifts? How often are judges offered bribes? When does legitimate lobbying cross the line into undue influence? What role can investigative journalists play in revealing corrupt practices? What should parliaments be doing to root out corruption?
Corruption is theft. It also subverts public institutions, undermines the rule of law and saps citizens’ trust in the political system.
PACE’s new anti-corruption platform, launched on 8 April 2014 in Strasbourg, creates a space for dialogue on this fundamental threat to European values, and helps to promote transparency and honesty in public life.
It brings together elected representatives from the parliaments of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe and of non-member states, with experts and other stakeholders to share information, spread good practices and debate how to deal with new forms of corruption.
Parliamentarians are engaged in a twin-action process: on one hand, they act as responsible guardians in their national parliament; on the other, they are pressing for speedy action to promote Council of Europe instruments and standards, and to implement the recommendations of GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, which conducts country-by-country monitoring in this field.
Conferences and meetings to be organised will address very specific issues such as the collaboration between parliamentarians and journalists in cases of corruption, gender dimensions of corruption, etc. These events will aim at producing effective recommendations able to translate legislators’ engagement into practical action on the ground.
A series of seminars and workshops – with a regional or national focus – were already organised or are planned on topics such as:
- Mechanisms available to national parliaments to counter corruption
- Code of conduct for parliamentarians
- The integrity of parliamentary staff
- Judicial corruption