GRECO: Serbia implements 10 of 15 recommendations

STRASBOURG -- Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) on Wednesday published a report on incriminations and transparency of party funding in Serbia.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

The document for the most part praised Serbia's efforts despite a lag in implementing reforms to anti-corruption legislation.

"Serbia has implemented satisfactorily ten of the fifteen recommendations" contained in GRECO's evaluation from 2010, reads the new compliance report.

All ten recommendations concerning transparency of political funding have been implemented satisfactorily, but none of the five recommendations concerning criminalization of corruption offenses.

Addressing the latter, the report says that amendments to the Criminal Code were drafted by the previous government, but the draft was withdrawn following the May 2012 elections. A new working group has been created to deal with the recommendations issued in this area, so GRECO is hopeful the deficiencies will be addressed.

On the other hand, Serbia deserves recognition for the holistic review carried out in the area of party funding, resulting in a detailed and comprehensive legal framework.

"Implementation of the relevant legislative provisions is now being tested and the Anti-Corruption Agency has a key role to perform in this regard. Time and experience will show whether the law efficiently serves its purpose and prevents corruption and malpractice in party financing, and whether further improvements, of either a legislative or a practical implementation nature, are necessary," reads the report.

"GRECO encourages Serbia to pursue the reforms underway in order to implement the pending recommendations within the next 18 months," says the report, inviting the Serbian authorities to submit additional information regarding the implementation of recommendations by April 30, 2014 at the latest.

GRECO was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor states’ compliance with the organizations' anti-corruption standards.

Currently, GRECO comprises 48 European countries, and the United States.