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Recommendation 2128 (2018) Provisional version

Follow-up to the report of the Independent Investigation Body on the allegations of corruption within the Parliamentary Assembly

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 26 April 2018 (16th Sitting) (see Doc. 14540, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Ms Petra De Sutter; and Doc. 14543, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Ms Olena Sotnyk). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 April 2018 (16th Sitting).

1. With reference to Resolution 2216 (2018) on follow-up to the report of the Independent Investigation Body on the allegations of corruption within the Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly affirms its determination to promote an atmosphere of zero tolerance towards corruption and to fully recover its institutional and political credibility within the Council of Europe. It recalls the decisions it has taken to deal with the allegations of corruption and fostering of interests made against some of its members or former members, which have led it to improve its integrity and transparency framework.
2. On 22 April 2018, the Independent External Investigation Body on allegations of corruption (IBAC), set up a year earlier on the Assembly’s initiative to conduct a detailed independent investigation into the allegations of corruption and fostering of interests, delivered its report.
3. As the Investigation Body acknowledges, “the Parliamentary Assembly is to be commended for its courage in reacting to these allegations and making clear its determination not to tolerate corruption within its ranks. It has done so not only by inviting GRECO [the Group of States against Corruption] to assess and recommend improvements to the regulatory framework governing the conduct of members of the Assembly but by responding to the call, made both inside and outside the institution itself, for an independent investigation of the allegations of corruption and other forms of unethical conduct. In doing so, it has set an example to other national and international institutions confronted with similar grave challenges” (report of the Independent Investigation Body on the allegations of corruption within the Parliamentary Assembly, paragraph 759).
4. The Assembly intends to draw all the necessary consequences, on all levels, from the recommendations and conclusions of the Investigation Body’s report, be they the recommendations aimed at improving its general operating framework and at remedying shortcomings in the transparency of parliamentary procedures, or the conclusions criticising the conduct of some members or former members of the Assembly who had conflicts of interest and breached the Assembly’s rules of conduct.
5. The Assembly nevertheless notes that, although the Investigation Body cannot provide proof of the existence of a co-ordinated network of corruption within the Assembly, the failings of some members and former members clearly involve corrupt practices extending far beyond the scope of the Parliamentary Assembly itself and, indeed, the parliamentary environment itself: they were only possible, and might still persist, as a result of the direct involvement, the active support or, at the very least, the culpable abstention of governments of Council of Europe member States. The Assembly deplores this behaviour and invites them to take appropriate action.
6. The Assembly therefore invites the Committee of Ministers to take due stock of the steps taken by the Assembly since January 2017 and to support it in its efforts. “The fight against corruption … is not one for the Assembly alone”, as the Investigation Body stresses.