10 Years of GRECO

Greco 10_anniversaryOn 5 October 2009, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) of the Council of Europe celebrated its 10th anniversary in Strasbourg in the presence of numerous  Member State representatives, including ministers of justice and state secretaries.

GRECO was established in 1999 under the aegis of the Council of Europe to ensure that member States comply with the anti-corruption standards adopted by the Organisation. The ultimate objective is to improve the capacity of states to fight this pernicious form of crime which harms the values defended by the Council of Europe.

GRECO helps to identify shortcomings in national anti-corruption policies and encourages member States to carry out the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. As a result, it also constitutes a forum for the exchange of experience and best practice, for example with regard to the prevention and detection of corruption.

GRECO is structured as an enlarged partial agreement. This means that not all Council of Europe member States are necessarily members of GRECO and that non-Member States can join it. GRECO now has 46 member States (45 European states plus the United States of America). Only two Council of Europe member states have not yet joined it, namely Liechtenstein and San Marino.

Furthermore, any state that becomes a Party to the Criminal Law or Civil Law Convention on Corruption automatically becomes a member of GRECO and is subject to its evaluation procedures. In addition, certain international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations have observer status.”

The participants in the conference on the 10th anniversary discussed, inter alia, the progress achieved in the field of anti-corruption, in particular the prevention of and combat against corruption in the public sector, the contribution of criminal law to tackling corruption, increased transparency in the financing of politics, as well as the improvement of the cooperation of all international stakeholders. Martin Kreutner, in his capacity as President of EPAC, was the chair of one of the round tables held during this high-ranking event.