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Recommendation 2105 (2017)

Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 27 June 2017 (22nd Sitting) (see Doc. 14344, report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, rapporteur: Mr Michele Nicoletti; and Doc. 14352, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Vusal Huseynov). Text adopted by the Assembly on 27 June 2017 (22nd Sitting).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution 2170 (2017) on promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption, stresses the need to promote a political and cultural environment conducive to a corruption-resilient society, which is a cornerstone of a genuine democracy.
2. The Assembly welcomes Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)2 on the legal regulation of lobbying activities in the context of public decision making.
3. In order to further strengthen the implementation of existing anti-corruption standards and recommendations of Council of Europe member States, the Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to pay particular attention, through further research, to the ways in which corruption was and is embedded in social and cultural values in individual member States, as these values provide the essential environment in which anti-corruption initiatives can succeed.
4. Since anti-corruption and integrity strategies are more likely to succeed when they receive strong grass-roots backing from civil society and other relevant actors in the fight against corruption, the Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1. strengthen dialogue between civil society and local, national and European institutions by launching a campaign on integrity and anti-corruption aimed at mobilising a network of policy makers, experts, scholars, intellectuals, journalists, non-governmental organisations and students;
4.2. give a prominent role to integrity and anti-corruption education in the Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture, targeting primary and secondary schools and higher education and vocational training institutions throughout Europe;
4.3. consider including integrity and anti-corruption aspects in a revised version of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education;
4.4. develop anti-corruption education projects in the framework of the Council of Europe–European Union joint programme Human Rights and Democracy in Action;
4.5. pay specific attention to corruption in education, in particular regarding access to higher education and higher education qualifications, and study the possibility of a convention on education fraud;
4.6. ask Council of Europe member States that have established separate specialist anti-corruption bodies to ensure their independence and provide them with specialist skills, a clear mandate and sufficient powers, subject to proper checks and balances, in line with Committee of Ministers Resolution 97 (24) on the twenty guiding principles for the fight against corruption and the guidelines of the United Nations Convention against Corruption;
4.7. invite the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) to provide a platform for anti-corruption authorities in its member States in order to gather and discuss good practice and current challenges in the fight against corruption and the promotion of integrity in public life, and consider setting up a network at European level.
5. The Assembly reiterates its call to the Committee of Ministers to further improve the protection of whistle-blowers by launching the process of negotiating a binding legal instrument in the form of a framework convention on whistle-blower protection on the basis of its Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 on the protection of whistleblowers, taking into account recent developments.