GRECO wants to support Tunisia in fight against corruption (Gianluca Esposito) | Tunisia News Gazette

GRECO wants to support Tunisia in fight against corruption (Gianluca Esposito)

“The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) want to support Tunisia and its government in the fight against corruption through concrete actions on the ground to fight effectively against this phenomenon,” GRECO Executive Secretary, Gianluca Esposito said on Monday.

GRECO was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to ensure compliance with the anti-corruption standards of the organization by the 49 member states.

At a conference held Monday at the headquarters of the Council of Europe delegation in Tunis, Esposito said his visit to Tunisia is aimed primarily at trying to make progress with the Tunisian authorities to ensure that Tunisia becomes a member of GRECO and “both parties can move from the discussion phase to the phase of working together”.

For this purpose, Esposito will, during his two-day visit, meet with representatives of the government and independent bodies.

“It is clear that things remain to be done in Tunisia,” he said, stressing that “legislative reforms are needed to prevent corruption and influence peddling.”

In his view, GRECO requires the establishment by member countries of laws that deal, inter alia, with conflict of interest and lobbies. These are reforms that all states are required to achieve, he stressed.

On Tunisia’s blacklisting by the European Union, Esposito considered that these classifications make it possible to identify the needs of each country in terms of reforms and in no way affect membership of GRECO.

“We are working with member states to ensure progress made by states in the fight against corruption and we also support them in legal reforms to fight effectively against this phenomenon.”

Corruption is a threat to respect for human rights and economic development, according to him.

Esposito recalled that Tunisia has asked to join GRECO in March 2017, saying that many meetings have taken place between GRECO and members of the Tunisian government as well as bodies such as the National Anti-Corruption Authority which has led GRECO member states to agree to invite Tunisia to join their body to become the first country in North Africa and the Arab world to do it.

GRECO Executive Secretary Gianluca Esposito is visiting Tunisia from February 19 to 20 as part of Tunisia’s request to join GRECO.

Esposito will meet the Tunisian authorities responsible for Tunisia’s accession to GRECO to discuss mainly its progress.

This visit is also part of the project “Promotion of good governance, the fight against corruption, money laundering and the financing of terrorism (South Neighborhood Anti-Corruption Project, SNAC 2) between the Tunisian authorities and the Council of Europe.

“GRECO aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with Council of Europe anti-corruption standards through a dynamic process of mutual evaluation and peer pressure. It helps to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms, reads the website of the Council of Europe.

GRECO also provides a platform for the sharing of best practice in the prevention and detection of corruption.

Membership in GRECO, which is an enlarged agreement, is not limited to Council of Europe member States. Any State which took part in developing the enlarged partial agreement may join by notifying the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Moreover, any State which becomes Party to the Criminal or Civil Law Conventions on Corruption automatically accedes to GRECO and its evaluation procedures. Currently, GRECO comprises 49 member States (48 European States and the United States of America).

Source: TAP News Agency

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