Cyprus has not made tangible progress in respect of any pending recommendation regarding Incriminations and Transparency of Party Funding since the adoption of the Second Compliance report, according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).
GRECO’s interim report, adopted in December last year and now made public, concluded that the current level of compliance with past recommendations remained globally unsatisfactory.
The organisation said one recommendation regarding incriminations remained partially implemented, as did five recommendations on party funding.
“Concerning incriminations, GRECO regrets in particular that no further progress has been achieved to create a more uniform legal framework for the criminalisation of corruption, which currently is made up of provisions contained in various laws and in two international treaties,” the report said.
GRECO had recommended that firm measures be taken in order to ensure that the provisions concerning the criminalisation of corruption are applied in practice; to make these provisions accessible as part of the criminal legislation and, for the sake of legal certainty, create a uniform legal framework for the criminalisation and sanctioning of corruption offences in accordance with the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and its Additional Protocol, notably by amending and/or abolishing current legislation.
It said that legal provisions on the criminalisation of corruption offences, although in compliance with the evaluated provisions of the Criminal Law Convention and its Additional Protocol, were unnecessarily complex and raised concern in terms of clarity as they were scattered in various laws and two international treaties.
“This creates uncertainty for the law enforcement, the judiciary and even more so in respect of the wider public,” GRECO said, asking for the provisions to be gathered in the Criminal Code.
“GRECO regrets that no move in this direction has been taken and observes that there has been no decisive change to the situation assessed in the previous compliance reports.”
Concerning transparency of political funding, the situation – as assessed – remained largely the same as it was at the time of the adoption of the Second Compliance Report, GRECO said.
Cypriot authorities said the Political Parties Law as well as the Law on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives had recently been amended — but not the Law on Election of the President and Vice President.
The amended laws have not yet entered into force, report said, and amendments only exist in the Greek language.
“GRECO was therefore not in a position to assess the compliance of the amended legislation with the recommendations at the time of the adoption of the current report. That said, it would appear that the amended and draft legislation have the potential to improve the transparency of political financing and the supervision thereof.”
Under these circumstances, GRECO can only conclude that the current level of compliance with the recommendations remains “globally unsatisfactory.”