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Bribery: Bundestag does not do enough to fight corruption

2019-08-08T16:48:59.678Z

The Council of Europe accuses the Bundestag of failing to implement recommendations for the prevention of parliamentarian bribery. The verdict: "generally unsatisfactory".



The Bundestag does not implement important recommendations on the fight against corruption. According to Tagesspiegel information, the group of states against corruption (GRECO) comes to this conclusion in a previously unpublished report. The group of states of the Council of Europe had made recommendations for the prevention of parliamentarian bribery five years ago. The state of implementation is "generally unsatisfactory," it says now in the report, which is the Tagesspiegel . The group of states of the Council of Europe, for example, Romania, Turkey, Hungary and Austria have so far presented similarly poor reports.

The group of states, which was founded by the Council of Europe in 1999, includes 48 other countries besides Germany. The group's goal is to support the fight against corruption through mutual monitoring and thus to monitor compliance with international standards. In the monitoring reports, tailor-made recommendations are made for each country so as not to make corruption possible in the first place.

In October 2014, in a 75-page report, GRECO examined the "Corruption Prevention of Members of Parliament, Judges and Prosecutors" in Germany. In it Germany is indeed certified to take a leading position in the fight against corruption in international comparison. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement. In the end, the experts made eight recommendations. Of these, only three have been treated satisfactorily, according to the so-called Second Implementation Report, adopted by GRECO in June. Three other recommendations were only partially and two not implemented at all, complain the corruption experts. Of the five issues in question, four concern Parliament.

"very little progress"

On the part of the Bundestag, "very little progress was made to advance the transparency of the parliamentary process, to regulate conflicts of interest more closely and to ensure effective control and enforcement of the rules of conduct for members of the Bundestag," according to the report of the corruption experts.

GRECO demands from the German Parliament clearer rules for dealing with lobbyists and other actors who want to influence the parliamentary process. In addition, MEPs should be required to disclose existing or potential private conflicts of interest.

Also, the disclosure requirements for MPs go to the experts not far enough. In particular, they are in favor of parliamentarians having to declare their holdings even if they are below the minimum 25 per cent requirement for disclosure. On the subject of disclosure requirements, the evaluation report even accuses the German parliament of a "blockade of any future reforms".

Finally, in the opinion of the two authors of the report, who come from Slovakia and Switzerland, the Bundestag lacks effective control and enforcement of existing disclosure requirements and rules. If MPs violate the rules of parliament, this is usually not revealed by the Bundestag administration, but only by the media. GRECO also proposes to entrust control to an independent commission.

After the summer break, the Bundestag must again deal with the recommendations of GRECO. "I am sure that the political groups will closely examine the recommendations of the report in the Legal Commission in order to bring the German legal situation and the recommendations from Strasbourg in line," said Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble the Tagesspiegel .

Several months ago, GRECO issued a separate report calling for more transparency in German party financing. Accordingly, party donations should be reported to the Bundestag immediately below the current limit of 50,000 euros.

Source: zeit

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