Council of Europe "regrets lack of progress" in tackling corruption in Latvia

In a report published June 3 on corruption prevention in Latvia in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption group (GRECO) said it "regrets the lack of measures concerning regulation on lobbying, parliamentary ethics and conflicts of interest."

"Despite draft amendments which are reportedly geared towards enhancing transparency of law making, as well as increasing accountability of parliamentarians for ethical misconduct, GRECO considers Saeima's record on the implementation of some key recommendations disappointing," the organization said.

However, there has been progress concerning recommendations made to the judiciary, it added.

The abolishment of administrative immunity for judges and prosecutors remains an outstanding issue though, it said.

"GRECO concludes that Latvia has implemented satisfactorily or dealt with in a satisfactory manner nine of the fourteen recommendations and asks for additional information about pending recommendations by the end of 2019," the CoE said.

The full report can be read online.

However, the advice is not without its ironies as Latvian banks have in the past been implicated as part of a scheme to make large payments to CoE-linked individuals on behalf of Azerbaijan.  

Heads of the delegations of the Baltic States and the Nordic Countries (NB8) to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in 2017 signed a joint statement to the leaders of PACE expressing their concern about possible corruption within the organization.

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