The Council of Europe says Switzerland has made “satisfactory” progress in implementing a series of anti-corruption recommendations relating to parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors.
In a report published on Thursdayexternal link, the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) said Switzerland had implemented its recommendations for prosecutors and, to a lesser extent, those for parliamentarians. Additional efforts are needed for judges, it added.
“GRECO concludes that Switzerland has implemented satisfactorily or dealt with in a satisfactory manner five of the twelve recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report. Of the remaining recommendations, three have been partly implemented and four have not been implemented,” the Strasbourg-based monitoring body declared.
GRECO said it was happy with transparency improvements, relating to parliamentarians’ declarations of personal interests and for giving the public wider access to parliamentary committee documents.
It said it welcomed Swiss clarification ensuring that each parliamentarian spontaneously discloses any conflicts of interest during debates, as well as both chambers’ willingness to publish parliamentarians’ rights and duties in a single document. However, it regretted that parliament had not pushed politicians to declare their financial interests and had not strengthened monitoring of declarations of interest.
GRECO says further progress is needed with regard to the independence of judges. It acknowledges the efforts of the Federal Council (executive body) and parliament to review the system for the election of judges. But it believes that there is still a risk that judges could fail to be re-elected for political reasons and that allowing judges to contribute financially to political parties violates the principle of judicial independence.
Switzerland, which has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1963, has until the end of September 2020 to implement any remaining GRECO recommendations and to inform the body of any adopted measures. A follow-up compliance report will be published in 2021.