Strasbourg, 27.03.2013 – Finland has an effective system for preventing corruption among members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. However, there is still room for improvement – particularly with regard to conflicts of interest among parliamentarians.
These are the main findings of an evaluation report published today by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).
The report noted that Finland is widely regarded as being one of the least corrupt countries in Europe, and that perceptions of corruption among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors are relatively low. Despite a long tradition of limited regulation in this area, Finland also has a good record of implementing anti-corruption measures suggested by GRECO itself.
GRECO nevertheless stressed that the authorities should not underestimate the risks of corruption resulting from conflicts of interest. It recommended drawing up a Code of Conduct for parliamentarians, as well as clarify exactly what is meant by “conflict of interest” and tightening up rules on gifts and the disclosure of outside links.
GRECO also recommended that the recently-adopted Ethical Principles for Judges should be widely disseminated, and that closer attention should be paid to judges’ additional activities, notably arbitration work, to maintain public confidence. Prosecutors also need a comprehensive set of ethical standards, backed up by specialised training and possibly also specific legislation
Today’s report has been published with the agreement of the Finnish authorities, which should report back on measures taken to implement the eight recommendations included in the report by the end of September 2014. GRECO will then assess the extent to which its recommendations have been implemented through a further “compliance report” in the first half of 2015.