The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) publishes today its fifth-round evaluation report on Luxembourg. The main focus of this round is preventing corruption and promoting integrity in central governments (top executive functions) and law enforcement agencies.
GRECO points out that Luxembourg traditionally scores highly in international perception surveys on corruption, and cases of minor corruption or bribery seem virtually non-existent in the country. On the other hand, GRECO criticises the more reactive than proactive approach to other forms of corruption in the broader sense, such as exchanges of services or favouritism. There is no general or sectoral strategy for preventing and combating corruption, or any codes of ethics applicable to officials or members of the Grand Ducal Police. Likewise, while there are a number of good practices relating to access to information held by the government, Luxembourg has not yet introduced a general right of access to administrative documents. GRECO recommends that these gaps should be filled.
GRECO welcomes the current government’s desire to strengthen the ethical rules applicable to its members, and takes a positive view of the code of ethics which now applies to them. There is a need for improvement though, regarding rules on gifts, reporting obligations, lobbying and the management of conflicts of interest after ministers’ terms of office have expired. The code must also be accompanied by a mechanism for supervision and sanctions for non-compliance. Lastly, the privileges regarding prosecution and jurisdiction enjoyed by ministers must be reviewed.
GRECO looks favourably on the reform of the Grand Ducal Police currently being prepared, involving, among other things, a stronger role for the Inspectorate General of Police. The latter’s resources will have to be upgraded though to cater for the extension of its duties, while the arrangements for recruiting and training its members will have to be stepped up.
In more general terms, GRECO believes that the Grand Ducal Police should improve its internal corruption prevention efforts, particularly through better assessment and management of risks, the reinforcement of ethics-related in-service training and the introduction of checks on the good moral character and integrity of candidates when decisions are taken on promotions.
In 2020 GRECO will assess the implementation of the recommendations made to Luxembourg under its compliance procedure.