Truly independent institutions are critical to fight corruption, Special Representative Charalambides says in Vienna

SR Charalambides photo 191021VIENNA, 19 October 2021 – Representing the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at the OSCE Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting in Vienna this week, OSCE PA Vice-President and Special Representative on Fighting Corruption Irene Charalambides (Cyprus) said today that in order to ensure effective anti-corruption efforts, state institutions entrusted with this task need to be provided with all the necessary tools.

Speaking at the closing session of the two-day event, Charalambides pointed to the recent disclosure of the Pandora Papers as just the latest revelation of systematic tax evasion, money laundering and corruption, noting that more are sure to come.

“What is most disturbing aside from the revelation that corruption enables the exercise of undue influence to our democratically elected politicians, is that much of the activity they have revealed could actually be proven to be perfectly legal,” she said. “Just like Pandora’s box released a myriad of troubles but also hope, the Pandora papers and all other papers before and after these, also present us with the opportunity to take advantage of the piling public dissatisfaction to harness support from our citizens to promote the reforms that need to be made.”

One of the reforms that need to be made, she argued, is to bolster the independence of key national institutional authorities such as the public prosecutor, the supreme audit institutions, the judiciary and the anti-corruption authorities. In this regard, the role of parliaments is crucial.

“Enactment of more robust legislation to exclude conflicts of interest lies in the hands of parliaments,” she said. “The adoption of codes of conduct, or laws on lobbying, on shell companies and ultimate beneficial ownership, on the protection of whistleblowers, on asset seizures and media freedom are a responsibility of parliamentarians.”

While in Vienna, Charalambides has met with Ambassador Igli Hasani, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, and Dr. Gudrun Kugler, the OSCE PA’s Rapporteur for the economic and environmental committee. She also explored possible joint future efforts with Anita Ramasastry, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Corruption.

In discussions, Charalambides has emphasized the need to bring political momentum to the anti-corruption work of the OSCE and noted that parliamentarians are well positioned to promote the implementation of international obligations on corruption, as well as developing new standards.



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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