International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

In the run-up to the European elections in June 2024, the European Commission has published guidelines for its members taking part in election campaigns. The Council of the European Union has adopted its mandate for the inter-institutional negotiations on the European Ethics Body.

The plenary session of the European Parliament also adopted new rules on the transparency and targeting of political advertising. It also adopted a report on the anti-corruption directive proposing a number of amendments to the draft directive published by the European Commission on 3 May 2023.

In January 2024, the Council of Europe published several reports evaluating European countries in the fight against corruption.

Transparency International has also published the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking 180 countries.



International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

On 24 January 2024, the European Commission published enhanced guidelines on ethical standards for Members of the Commission taking part in election campaigns for the European Parliament. It has also published specific guidelines on participation in election campaigns at Member State level.

Members of the European Commission must refrain from any campaign activity before the President/College has been informed of their intention to participate in the campaign. They must continue to be available for the ongoing performance of their duties and are required to create a separate social media account for the campaign. They may not use the Commission’s human and material resources for campaign-related activities and must ensure a clear separation between travel arrangements relating to their duties for the Commission and those relating to their campaign. (European Commission, 24 January 2024)

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

On 24 January 2024, the Council adopted its position in Coreper in the interinstitutional negotiations on the European Ethics Body. In particular, it proposes to exclude the representatives of the Member States from its scope, but to include the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs as President of the Foreign Affairs Council. An inter-institutional agreement should be reached in the coming months before the European elections in June 2024. (Agence Europe, 24 January 2024)

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

On 31 January 2024 Parliament adopted a report from the Commission on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs deciding to open interinstitutional negotiations on the proposal for a directive on combating corruption. The decision was confirmed by the plenary session on 27 February 2024. The proposed directive includes measures to strengthen the prevention and fight against corruption and defines the criminal offences and penalties associated with corruption. In the report, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) proposed a number of amendments to the proposed directive to cover a wider range of persons playing a leading role, including “any person entrusted with tasks in the public interest or entrusted with a public service”. MEPs want the European Union’s top decision-makers – namely MEPs, Commissioners and the President of the European Council – to be added to the category of “senior officials” and made subject to stricter rules. Provisions have also been made for military officials, senior executives of public companies and officials of political parties represented in Parliament. (European Parliament, 31 January 2024)

On 27 February 2024, the plenary session of the European Parliament adopted (by 470 votes to 50, with 105 abstentions) new rules on the transparency and targeting of political advertising, which will make election campaigns and referendums more transparent and more resistant to interference. Sponsorship of advertisements from outside the EU will be banned in the three months preceding an election or referendum. The text still has to be formally adopted by the Council (European Parliament, 27 February 2024)

MEPs have adopted the directive on the protection of persons taking part in public debate from manifestly unfounded or abusive legal proceedings. This directive aims to ensure that individuals and organisations working on subjects of general interest, such as fundamental rights, allegations of corruption, the protection of democracy or the fight against disinformation, are protected by the EU against unfounded and abusive prosecutions. The text provides for two protective measures: early dismissal of unfounded claims, and the possibility of requiring the claimant to bear the estimated costs of the proceedings, including the legal representation of the defendant, and the damages inflicted. If the defendant requests an early dismissal, it will be up to the claimant to provide evidence of his or her case in order for the proceedings to continue. This protection will apply to all cross-border cases, unless both parties are domiciled in the same EU country as the court, or the case concerns only one Member State. Member States will have two years to transpose the directive into their national systems. (European Parliament, 27 February 2024)

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

The European Ombudsman has opened an investigation into allegations of a conflict of interest concerning two former employees of the EU’s law enforcement cooperation agency (Europol) who joined the child protection organisation Thorn. The enquiry follows a complaint by a MEP to the Ombudsman about the way Europol assessed the risk of potential conflicts of interest before approving their “requests for after-service activities”. (Euractiv, 8 January 2024)

The European Ombudsman has asked the secretariat of the EU Transparency Register to carry out more thorough and relevant investigations into complaints from the public about alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct by registered organisations. She had found maladministration in an investigation into how the Secretariat had handled complaints about two organisations that had failed to disclose their links to the food industry and to each other, as well as the sources of their funding. Although it had sought clarification from both organisations during its investigation, the Secretariat had made a limited assessment of the responses received and had applied a narrow definition of “affiliation” when examining the links between the two. The Ombudsman emphasised the important role played by the public in identifying inaccurate or incomplete information in the transparency register, particularly given the Secretariat’s limited means of control. (European Ombudsman, 8 February 2024)



International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) has published its second Addendum to the second Compliance Report of the 4th round of evaluation of Cyprus concerning the prevention of corruption of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. The Report highlights the adoption in 2021 of a Code of Ethics, together with monitoring mechanisms, advice for members of parliament and the introduction of rules on lobbying (Council of Europe, 9 January 2024).

In its evaluation report on the 5th cycle, to improve the effectiveness of its system for promoting integrity and preventing corruption within central government and law enforcement agencies. The report recommends improvements to the public consultation process, citizens’ access to public information and the transparency of contacts between senior executive officials and lobbyists. (Council of Europe, 10 January 2024)

GRECO has also published the third Interim Compliance Report of the 4th evaluation cycle of Portugal. Given that the vast majority of the recommendations (twelve out of fifteen) remain partially implemented, GRECO has concluded that the level of compliance with the recommendations is “insufficient overall”. (Council of Europe, 15 January 2024)

On 30 January 2024, GRECO published the final addendum to France’s Compliance Report under the 4th evaluation cycle, concluding that six of the eleven recommendations had been satisfactorily implemented. Three of the other five recommendations have been partially implemented, and two have not been implemented. The report calls for greater transparency in the use of MP’s and senators’ parliamentary expenses and for their assets declarations to be published online. Furthermore, GRECO regrets the lack of progress regarding the manner in which the High Council for the Judiciary can be seized for disciplinary purposes against judges and the investigative powers of this body. GRECO calls for the procedure for appointing public prosecutors to be brought into line with the procedure in force for judges. (Council of Europe, 30 January 2024)

On 30 January 2024, GRECO published an addendum to the second Compliance Report of the 4th evaluation cycle. The Irish authorities are encouraged to continue their efforts to put in place a new legal framework on ethics for members of parliament and to improve the existing system of declarations of assets. (Council of Europe, 30 January 2024)

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

The OECD published a report on 6 February 2024 analysing the performance of public administration in Ukraine using a series of standard indicators based on the principles of public administration. These principles define what good public governance means in practice and set out the main requirements with which countries must comply during the EU integration process. In view of the European Council’s decision in December 2023 to open accession negotiations with Ukraine, this report provides data and recommendations on how Ukraine could better meet the standards of good public administration. (OECD, 6 February 2024)



International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024

Transparency International has published its 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Globally, the average CPI is 43/100, with more than two-thirds of countries scoring below 50. With a score of 71/100, France ranks 20th out of 180 countries. This update of the Corruption Perceptions Index, produced by the NGO every year since 1995, sees France move up one place from last year (and its score drop one point). According to the NGO, France lacks a consolidated public anti-corruption policy, despite the rise of the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP), the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA), the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) and the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Financing (CNCCFP). According to Transparency International’s rankings, Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world for the sixth consecutive year, closely followed by Finland and New Zealand. (Transparency International, 30 January 2024)



International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024


The national commission responsible for monitoring the implementation of the national strategy for transparency, prevention and the fight against corruption (2023-2027) was set up on 15 January 2024 in Algiers. This commission will be made up of representatives of the legislative power and the ministerial departments responsible for the government, and will then be organised into sub-commissions bringing together all the ministerial sectors. (Algérie Presse Service, 14 January 2024)

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024


 The trial of the former Vietnamese health minister and 37 other people opened on 2 January 2024 in Hanoi for their alleged role in a corruption case involving Covid tests in Vietnam. The defendants are accused of having authorised, in return for bribes, multi-million dollar contracts to supply hospitals and local populations with test equipment at considerably inflated prices. (Le Figaro, 3 January 2024)


The former Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and his wife were sentenced on 31 January 2024 to 14 years in prison for corruption, in a case concerning gifts received when the Prime Minister was in power. (Le Figaro, 31 January 2024)

International newsletter of the HATVP – January-February 2024


On Thursday 8 February 2024, the Slovak Parliament approved an amendment to the Criminal Code, which provides for the elimination of the prosecutor’s office responsible for combating corruption and organised crime by 20 March 2024, three days before the first round of the presidential election. (Le Monde, 9 February 2024)


On 20 February 2024, in Brussels, the new Polish government presented an action plan to re-establish the independence of the judiciary and restore the principles of the rule of law that had been undermined under the governments of the ultraconservative Law and Justice party (PiS, 2015-2023). In particular, the executive has undertaken to reform the country’s courts, including the Constitutional Court and the National Judicial Council. Warsaw thus hopes to obtain the closure of the so-called “Article 7” procedure, initiated by the Commission in 2017. (Le Monde, 23 February 2024)

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