Anti-corruption experts want Spain to make faster progress in tackling graft among public officials.
The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body GRECO today published a report assessing Spain’s compliance with its recommendations to combat corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.
Four years after the adoption of the Fourth round evaluation report in December 2013, GRECO concludes that there has been limited progress in Spain in complying with its recommendations and that the country’s level of compliance remains “globally unsatisfactory.”
Spain has not yet fully implemented any of the eleven recommendations GRECO issued in 2013. Seven recommendations have been partly implemented and four have not been implemented at all.
With respect to parliamentarians, several recommendations await implementation including the adoption of a code of conduct in both Houses and a thorough review of the financial disclosure regime. A draft on lobbying seems to be underway, which is a step forward to enhance transparency on how parliamentarians engage with lobbyists and other parties.
GRECO underlines the high quality of the judiciary and the prosecutorial service in Spain and welcomes the reflection process underway to issue a national justice strategy and to increase the independence and the efficiency of the judiciary, including changes in the systems of appointment of its governing bodies and higher rank officials. A code of conduct has been adopted and a Commission of Judicial Ethics has been created with an advisory role, although it has not yet started to operate.
With regard to the prosecutorial service, a reform of its statute aimed at increasing its autonomy is pending. GRECO regrets the lack of more determined action in the drafting of a code of conduct for prosecutors, which is ongoing.
GRECO has requested the Spanish authorities to report back on the implementation of the recommendations by 31 December 2018.