This is not the first time that GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) has called on the Republic of Cyprus to comply with the recommendations for various forms of corruption in Cyprus. The new report, released on Tuesday, said the full implementation of all the recommendations had become “even more urgent” due to recent “serious allegations of unwarranted third party influence on some Members of Parliament”.
According to the report, of the 16 recommendations made in 2016, 7 have been fully implemented, 6 have been partially implemented and 3 remain unimplemented. The recommendations date back to 2016 and concern the prevention of corruption in relation to MPs, judges and prosecutors. This report follows the initial compliance report, which was published in 2018.
GRECO clearly demonstrates the MPs and their inherent conflict of interest, the contacts with lobbyists, while expressing the need to adopt a code of conduct for the members of the House of Representatives, in order to prevent various forms of corruption.
With regard to judges, the GRECO report welcomes progress from the previous compliance report, as the Code of Conduct for Judges has become binding on all judges, allowing for disciplinary proceedings in the event of a breach. “This is a very positive development, following the visit of the President of GRECO to Cyprus in February 2019 and the constructive dialogue with the Cypriot authorities”.
GRECO also welcomes the introduction of procedures for the appointment of judges and the promotions that have been made public, contributing to greater transparency. It also strongly supports ongoing reforms to prevent possible instances or situations that may be perceived as a conflict of interest within the Supreme Judicial Council.
Regarding the prosecutorial authorities, reference is made to the bill to ensure the independence and autonomy of the Legal Service of the Republic. GRECO invites the head of the Cypriot delegation to submit, by 31 October 2021 at the latest, additional information on the implementation of the pending recommendations.
A group of GRECO experts met with members of the House of Representatives on 11 April 2015. As part of the fourth evaluation round of the Republic of Cyprus, the existing procedures, the obligations of MPs to declare their incomes and financial obligations every three years as well how to control and legislate cases of incompatibility were discussed.
Necessity to progress on the issue of transparency of political funding and stricter anti-corruption laws was noted by the GRECO interim report on Cyprus in December 2016.
In March 2018, the Second Cyprus Compliance Report made recommendations for tougher measures to ensure that provisions on criminalizing corruption are made more accessible for reasons of legal certainty, in order to create a single legal framework for criminalizing and imposing sanctions on corruption offenses. Recommendations on the need for transparency in the financing of political parties were also recorded.
On June 22, 2018 , in its latest report, GRECO focused on the judiciary and made a series of comments on issues that were not followed with by the Supreme Court.
In September 2018 , GRECO found that Cyprus had satisfactorily implemented just two of the 16 recommendations included in the Fourth Round Assessment Report. That report welcomed the ongoing Code of Ethics for Members of Parliament, which was finally sent to GRECO in March 2020 by the former Speaker of Parliament, Dimitris Syllouris.
See full report below :