Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption

"A strong democracy is the best anti-corruption tool. Unacceptable behaviour weakens social justice and fosters populism," today said Michele Nicoletti (Italy, SOC), presenting to PACE Political Affairs Committee members his report on “Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption”.

"Public awareness, anti-corruption campaigns and integrity education programmes are the keys to successful anti-corruption strategies, which also need to respond to new forms of corruption as they emerge," he pointed out.

Adopting a draft resolution based on Mr Nicoletti’s report, the committee considered that stepping up the fight against corruption and restoring trust in the efficiency and effectiveness of democratic institutions “must be a priority” for many European democracies, including European institutions.

The adopted text invites governments to step up the fight against corruption by promoting integrity and transparency in public life at all levels, in particular by adopting sound rules on the declaration of assets, income and financial and other interests, making such declarations easily accessible to the public and setting up independent supervisory bodies and regulating lobbying activities.

The role of the media in denouncing corruption should be acknowledged, while ensuring that media regulation respects media freedom and responsibility.
Parliaments should develop a code of conduct covering guidance on the prevention of conflicts of interest, gifts and other advantages, while ensuring that “parliamentary immunity does not protect members of parliament from criminal prosecution for corruption-related acts”.

As regards the Parliamentary Assembly, it should pay special attention to the revision and effective implementation of its own code of conduct; support the independent external investigation body looking into allegations of corruption within the Assembly, and provide a sound basis for regulating lobbying activities.

The draft resolution will be debated during the Assembly’s next plenary session (Strasbourg, 26-30 June 2017).