GRECO: Fifth-Round Evaluation Report on Luxembourg
On 20 July 2018, GRECO has published its fifth-round evaluation report on Luxembourg. The main focus of the recent evaluation round is on preventing corruption and promoting integrity in central governments (top executive functions) and law enforcement agencies. The evaluation focuses in particular at issues such as conflicts of interest, the declaration of assets, and the accountability mechanisms (for the fifth evaluation round, see eucrim 2/2017, p. 76; for more recent reports, see eucrim 1/2018, pp. 38-39).
GRECO observed that the country generally scores highly in perception surveys on the fight against corruption, and the risk of actual bribery is considered low (for a summery, see the press release). That said, GRECO pointed out that the nature of anti-corruption measures is more reactive than proactive, and although there are some prevention measures and a committee for the prevention of corruption, there is neither a general nor sectoral strategy for preventing and combating corruption, nor any codes of ethics applicable to officials or members of the Grand Ducal Police. In a similar vein, despite existing good practices to access information held by the government, there is still no general right of access to administrative documents.
At the governmental level, there is unbroken interest in strengthening the ethical rules applicable to members of government, including the code of ethics introduced in 2014. There is, however, room for improvement, particularly regarding rules on gifts, reporting, lobbying, and the management of conflicts of interest after ministerial terms of office have expired. Additionally, GRECO recommends that the code be supported by supervision mechanisms and accompanied by sanctions for non-compliance. Lastly, the privileges enjoyed by ministers regarding prosecution and jurisdiction must be reviewed.
The report favorably acknowledges the reform of the Grand Ducal Police, which is currently under preparation. Beside territorial reorganization and the reinforcement of the administrative police, it also involves greater independence and a stronger role for the Inspectorate General of Police. In respect of the latter, however, GRECO advocates a parallel upgrade of resources to facilitate the extension of its duties. Additionally, arrangements for recruiting and training the members of the Grand Ducal Police need to be stepped up.
GRECO generally recommends improving internal corruption-prevention efforts, especially through better assessment and management of risks and introducing checks of the good moral character and integrity of candidates when decisions on promotions are taken.