Cyprus requires a brave change of mindset regarding transparency and tackling corruption, House President Annita Demetriou said on Friday at the 4th Cyprus Forum.
That, she said, can be achieved by the citizens, the institutions and politicians who must prioritise transparency and accountability in their actions and decisions.
Demetriou further emphasised that active citizens engaging in the process play a vital role in promoting a culture of transparency – which, in turn, empowers citizens.
The house president said that the current parliament is fully aware of the public’s expectations, and it is determined to take a significant step forward.
In her speech, read by Disy MP Savia Orphanidou, Demetriou said that parliament has taken action to implement effective measures aimed at enhancing transparency and political integrity.
As such, she pointed to the code of ethics for MPs and their staff which was passed in February 2021.
Another tool to achieve these aims, she said, is parliament’s approval of the 2022 legislation which established the independent authority for combating corruption.
She explained that the body established through that has all the necessary powers – such as comprehensive investigative abilities – for thorough examination and evaluation of information centred on allegations of corruption.
Demetriou also emphasised the importance of the whistleblower protection legislation which was passed.
Those recent changes, she said, are the result of collective effort based on consensus and was enhanced by constructive dialogue and goodwill from all those involved.
Demetriou concluded by saying that parliament is now much closer to the public as extensive social media use allows it to publish its work.
Parliament’s website, the live steaming of plenary sessions, and daily press releases all allow the public to engage more readily with its work, she said.