Romania ‘has made little progress to tackle corruption’

22 Jan 18

Romania has made little progress to tackle corruption in state institutions, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body GRECO has said. 

In a report published last week, the body said the Southeastern European country had “made very limited progress” to implement its recommendations to combat corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.

It concluded Romania had fully complied only with two of the 13 recommendations set out by the body the year before.

The recommendations included making the legal process more transparent, introducing stricter criteria for lawmakers to prevent conflict of interest and making their immunity conditions clearer.

Seven recommendations had not been implemented while another four had only partly been implemented.

Transparency International has ranked Romania as one of the European Union’s most corrupt countries.

Romania’s anti-corruption prosecution unit has sent 72 members of parliament to court since 2006 and speakers of both the parliament’s lower house and senate are on trial in separate cases.

Last year, Romanians protested against the government’s decision to scrap anti-corruption laws, which it said were necessary to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

GRECO also raised concerns regarding the efforts put in place to regulate gifts and other benefits of MPs.

The European agency said: “GRECO considers that Romania has not yet given proper consideration to improving the National Integrity Agency (NIA) performance in controlling MPs’ declarations of assets and interests, although its working methods and data processing capabilities have been improved.

“GRECO also calls for improving the implementation in practice of NIA’s decisions and sanctions on incompatibilities and conflicts of interest.”

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