On 15 and 16 October 2018, under the Croatian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life was invited to participate in the High-Level Conference organized by the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Justice of Croatia in Šibenik, Croatia. The conference was held under the theme “Strengthening transparency and accountability to ensure integrity: united against corruption”. The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body responsible for monitoring states’ compliance with the organization’s anti-corruption standards. Currently, GRECO comprises 49 member states.
The conference was opened by the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia, the Croatian President of GRECO and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. After the opening, various member states, like Denmark, Georgia, Italy and Moldova, presented the latest developments and reforms in the field of corruption prevention in their countries.
Anne de Moussac, Deputy Head of the Legal and Studies Division, spoke in a panel devoted to agencies in charge of preventing corruption and promoting integrity, and international cooperation. She presented the High Authority and its international activities, including the Network for Integrity. In this panel, networking experiences, such as the EPAC or the Network for Integrity, were reviewed. Moreover, speakers described initiatives in Asia, such as the organization of an annual symposium by the ICAC of Hong Kong, in Canada, where mechanisms for declaring and regulating conflicts of interest are now implemented both at federal level, and locally in major cities, as well as in Ukraine, Croatia, and Italy. Agencies from these countries emphasized the need for cross-border exchanges to support investigations or improve practices and procedures.
Following on from this panel, in order to encourage the exchange of information and good practices, a declaration creating a network of authorities in charge of preventing corruption was signed by ten representatives of such authorities gathered in Šibenik.
On the sidelines of the conference, with the support of the French Embassy in Croatia, Anne de Moussac and Emilie Cazenave, International Partnerships Coordinator, discussed bilaterally with the Ukrainian delegation, and then with the representatives of the Croatian Commission for the Resolution of Conflicts of Interest, which is also a member of the Network for Integrity. These meetings could lead to future expert missions aimed at strengthening Ukrainian tools for the control of declarations, and Croatian procedures and tools for the prevention of conflicts of interest.