Effective legislation and greater political will needed to prevent corruption in OSCE area, says PA’s ‪Charalambides

VIENNA, 17 February 2020 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on Fighting Corruption, Cypriot parliamentarian Irene ‪Charalambides‬, addressed today the first preparatory meeting of the OSCE’s 2020 Economic and Environmental Forum, noting that political will is key to bringing about change in fighting corruption, and therefore a change in mentality at all levels is urgently needed.

Vienna SR Charalambides speakingIrene Charalambides addresses the first preparatory meeting of the 2020 Economic and Environmental Forum, 17 February 2020Parliamentarians have a vital role to play in preventing corruption, she said, highlighting in particular the importance of effective legislation and public oversight. Parliamentarians must strive to hold authorities accountable, ‪Charalambides‬ stressed, to ensure governments that fulfill their obligations, and to detect and prevent any abuse of power.

With well-documented links to organized crime and the financing of terrorism, corruption poses a serious threat to economic development, prosperity, rule of law and stability, she said. Parliaments must therefore intensify efforts to adopt anti-corruption legislation, including by criminalizing all possible forms of corruption and imposing firm penalties on perpetrators.

“Good legislation is key to providing law enforcement and judicial authorities with the appropriate tools and resources to combat corruption,” ‪Charalambides‬ said. “For instance, laws establishing and adequately mandating specialized corruption investigation agencies have clearly proven their added value.”

She also highlighted whistleblower protections and establishing clear operational frameworks to report corruption as urgent priorities for the OSCE region, as well as ensuring safeguards for press freedom to ensure that “the media environment remains pluralistic and protected from and undue influence, to be able to retain its important informative function in our free societies.”

“It is equally crucial to formulate legislation duly aligning corporate behaviors to anti-corruption norms, as corruption in private businesses remains a pressing issue in all our countries,” she added.

‪Charalambides highlighted the work of international organizations and the importance of parliaments benefiting from their expertise in regards to the establishment of institutional structures that can help build political will.‬

“I personally often rely on international organizations and their experts to spot problems and suggest solutions,” she said. “However, it is also up to governments and executive structures to ensure that international institutions engage parliaments more actively and systematically.”

The first preparatory meeting of the 2020 Economic and Environmental Forum is taking place ‪17-18 February‬ under the theme “Promoting security, stability and economic growth in the OSCE area by preventing and combating corruption through innovation, increased transparency and digitalization.”

Irene Charalambides was appointed the OSCE PA’s Special Representative on Fighting Corruption by OSCE PA President George Tsereteli (Georgia) in July 2019. For more information on her work, please visit her web page.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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