A new report by the Council of Europe has acknowledged considerable progress in reducing corruption in Georgia and improving the country’s standing in related international ratings.
The document also called on the Georgian authorities to continue implementing reforms aimed at preventing corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors.
The Council of Europe's anti-corruption body, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), released its newest report on Georgia today.
Assessment and recommendation
Among the positive developments noted by GRECO is the introduction of a monitoring mechanism for submitting asset declarations by public officials including parliamentarians, judges and high-level prosecutors. The report noted that it is crucial that the new rules now be extended to cover all prosecutors, that they be effectively applied in practice and to be kept under constant review.
GRECO noted measures taken to prevent corruption among members of parliament and increase accountability for their work, and recommended further enhancing the transparency of the legislative process through the publication of all draft legislation and developing an enforceable code of ethics/conduct.
It also called for the mandatory disclosure of parliamentarians’ conflicts of interest, in order to monitor and determine when and how personal interests of MPs might influence the decision-making process.
GRECO stressed the need to carry on with the important reform of the judiciary. The anti-corruption body said that it is of prime importance that the bill on the third stage of reform which is pending before the Parliament should now be adopted and implemented.
GRECO recommends reforming the recruitment, promotion and transfer of judges, introducing an objective and transparent system for the allocation of cases, defining more precisely disciplinary offences and limiting the immunity of judges to activities related to their participation in judicial decision-making.
GRECO welcomed the recently-launched reform of the prosecution service with the aim of de-politicising it. The report says now the reform must be effectively implemented and possibly followed by additional measures to further reduce the influence of the government and the parliamentary majority on the appointment procedure of the Chief Prosecutor and on the activity of the Prosecutorial Council.
GRECO also recommends further regulating the recruitment and promotion of prosecutors as well as case management and internal instructions and reviewing the disciplinary regime applicable to prosecutors.
By the end of June 2018, the authorities of Georgia are to report back on measures taken to implement the 16 recommendations included in this report. GRECO will then assess the implementation of the recommendations in a compliance report in the second half of 2018.
More about GRECO
The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is a Council of Europe body that aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with anti-corruption standards. It helps states to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. Currently it comprises the 47 Council of Europe member states, Belarus and the United States of America.