International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

June saw the publication by the European Commission of its proposal for an interinstitutional Ethics Body.

In July, the European Parliament adopted a resolution concerning this proposal for an Ethics Body. It also adopted a report on the fight against interference in democratic processes and a report on the reform of the European Parliament’s rules on transparency, integrity, accountability and the fight against corruption.

The Council of Europe has issued several evaluation reports as part of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) evaluation cycles.



International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

On 8 June 2023, the European Commission presented its proposal for an interinstitutional body to deal with ethical issues. The new body will have three main tasks: to draw up minimum standards common to the EU institutions; to organise exchanges of views on the internal rules of the institutions in light of the standards laid down; and to promote a common ethical culture among all members of the EU institutions. It will have no powers of sanction or individual investigation. Only EU politicians will be concerned. The annual budget for the interinstitutional ethical body will be €600,000. (European Commission, 8 June).

On 8 June, the European Commission also published the eleventh edition of its Justice Scoreboard, which gives an overview of the efficiency, quality and independence of the justice systems in the EU Member States. This year, sixteen new areas are covered, including the way in which national authorities deal with corruption, the length of proceedings relating to bribery cases and specific arrangements facilitating equal access to justice. The 2023 Scoreboard presents a comparative view of the powers and appointments of the specialised bodies responsible for preventing corruption. (European Commission, 8 June).

On 5 July, the European Commission published its fourth annual report on the rule of law, according to which 65% of last year’s recommendations have been fully or partially implemented. The report focuses on four pillars: national justice systems, anti-corruption frameworks, media pluralism and other institutional issues relating to the balance of power. This year’s recommendations relate to strengthening preventive frameworks, such as those governing lobbying and conflict of interest rules, and ensuring the effective investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. (European Commission, 5 July).

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

On 1 June, the Members of the European Parliament adopted the text of the report on the fight against interference in democratic processes (469 votes in favour, 71 against and 75 abstentions). The report calls for a coordinated strategy to improve the EU’s resilience to foreign interference and information manipulation, and to protect the 2024 European elections. (European Parliament, 1 June).

On 12 June 2023, the Bureau of the European Parliament adopted a decision requiring registration in the transparency register as a precondition for the participation of lobbyists in any event organised by Parliament’s bodies or departments on Parliament’s premises. This decision is part of the fourteen-point reform plan to strengthen integrity and accountability within the European Parliament proposed by president Roberta Metsola. (European Parliament, 12 June).

On 12 July 2023, the European Parliament adopted a joint resolution on the European Ethics Body, criticising the Commission’s proposal. MEPs insist that the Ethics Body should have powers to investigate and sanction alleged breaches of ethical rules, and that it should have the power to request administrative documents. The resolution stresses the need for the ethics body to protect whistleblowers, in particular European officials. The European People’s Party (EPP) has decided to withdraw its name from this joint resolution, as it is satisfied with the proposal made by the European Commission on 8 June. (European Parliament, 12 July).

The report on the reform of the European Parliament’s rules on transparency, integrity, accountability and the fight against corruption was adopted by the European Parliament at its plenary session on 13 July 2023 (441 votes in favour, 70 against and 71 abstentions). MEPs are calling for a rapid revision of the code of conduct, including with regard to sanctions. The code of conduct should also strengthen the protection of whistleblowers and clarify the rules on conflicts of interest. They also propose the introduction of asset declarations at the beginning and end of their term of office and a ban on lobbying activities for six months following the end of their term of office, monitored by the new European Ethics Body. Parliament will also have to put in place a monitoring system and rules to revoke the access of former MEPs who lobby on behalf of high-risk countries. In order to step up the fight against foreign interference, they are calling for the suspension of all legislative and non-legislative proposals on cooperation with the authorities of states that attempt to interfere, as well as the suspension of European funding for such states. (European Parliament, 13 July).

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

The European Ombudsman has awarded the Prize for Excellence in Good Administration to Eurojust and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their initiative to help civil society organisations document war crimes and crimes against humanity. (European Ombudsman, 28 June).

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

On 5 July 2023, the European Network for Public Ethics, created in June 2022 at the initiative of the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP), which holds the presidency, met for the third time to discuss the draft European directive on fighting corruption and the creation of the EU network against corruption.



International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

On 30 June 2023, the OECD published its eighth edition of Government at a Glance. The report shows that many OECD countries do not have all the necessary safeguards in place to prevent corruption in lobbying, political finance and conflicts of interest. The OECD highlights the lack of regulation and the shortcomings in the effective implementation of existing regulations. (OECD, 30 June).

In its review of public governance, the OECD considers that Morocco has made significant progress in the fight against corruption and public integrity, notably by adopting a national anti-corruption strategy and setting up a National Authority for Probity, Prevention and the Fight against Corruption (Instance Nationale de la Probité, de la Prévention et de la Lutte contre la Corruption). The OECD recommends that Morocco define clear procedures for managing conflicts of interest and digitise the system for declaring assets. (OECD, 27 June).

On 18 June 2023, the OECD published a review of integrity in Costa Rica, which highlights Costa Rica’s efforts to consolidate democratic gains in order to preserve confidence in government and strengthen economic resilience. The report examines the framework for managing conflicts of interest and makes a number of recommendations on how to deal with undue influence in public decision-making. (OECD, 18 June).

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) recommends in its evaluation report on Hungary that measures be taken to prevent corruption in respect of persons holding senior executive positions (Prime Minister, ministers, commissioners, secretaries of state, political advisers, agents of the Prime Minister, members of the National Police). GRECO also notes a lack of transparency regarding the composition of ministerial cabinets and the role and remuneration of their members. (Council of Europe, 9 June).

On 13 June 2023, GRECO published its report evaluating Estonia’s implementation of the recommendations from the fifth round on preventing corruption and promoting integrity in senior executive and law enforcement functions. GRECO concluded that Estonia had satisfactorily implemented eleven of the fifteen recommendations contained in the Fifth Round Evaluation Report. The remaining four recommendations had been partially implemented. In particular, GRECO welcomed the introduction of conflict of interest guidelines for ministers and their advisers and good practices for civil servants communicating with lobbyists. (Council of Europe, 13 June)



International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023

United States

The Supreme Court Ethics and Transparency Bill will be put to a vote in the Senate on 20 July 2023. The bill requires the Supreme Court to adopt a code of conduct, allowing members of the public to submit ethical complaints for review by a panel of lower court judges. It would establish new rules for the declaration of gifts and travel and conflicts of interest. (NBC News, 10 July)

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023


On 28 June 2023, the Paris judicial court validated the payment by oil and gas companies TechnipFMC and Technip Energies of €179 million and €29 million respectively in fines to avoid prosecution in corruption cases between 2008 and 2012 in Ghana and Equatorial Guinea. Both companies have admitted bribery of foreign public officials. (Le Monde, 29 June)

West and Central Africa

Amnesty International published a report on 11 July 2023 in which it denounced the state of corruption in West and Central Africa, twenty years after the adoption in Maputo of the African Union Convention against Corruption. The NGO also called on these West and Central African states to take effective measures to protect human rights defenders who denounced corruption. (Amnesty International, 11 July)

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023


The Tokyo District Court has sentenced Shinichi Ueno, former chair of the ADK advertising agency, to two years in prison for paying around 14 million yen ($100,000) to obtain sponsorship and marketing contracts from Haruyuki Takahashi, then a member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games committee. (Japan Times, 12 July)


The Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, has ordered the Minister for Transport to step down after an investigation was launched by Singapore’s anti-corruption body. (Le Figaro, 15 July)

International newsletter of the HATVP – June-July 2023


The Austrian Parliament has strengthened its anti-corruption legislation by adopting a new text to come into force in September 2023. Among the new measures, a new rule will allow politicians to be prosecuted even if the offence occurred before they took office. (AFP, 7 July)

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