The Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO) released a report on 28 September 2017 of its assessment of the measures adopted by France to fight against corruption following the recommendations it made in 2009. The assessment is fairly positive since twelve of the seventeen of GRECO’s recommendations have been implemented by France in a satisfactory manner.
GRECO was established in 1999 to monitor compliance by the Member-States of the Council of Europe with the organization’s anti-corruption standards. GRECO aims to improve the ability of its members to fight effectively against corruption, notably thanks to an assessment process of its members. This report closes the assessment process started in 2009 of France’s in fight against corruption.
In this respect, of the seventeen recommendations specifically addressed to France, GRECO concluded that France implemented or dealt in a satisfactory manner with twelve of them. The remaining five recommendations have been partially implemented.
With respect to its recommendations on the criminalization of certain acts, GRECO approved the measures that have been implemented by France, especially concerning the law amending the statute of limitations in criminal matters (Law no. 2017-242 of 17 February 2017); statute of limitations of common law offenses is extended from three to six years, while the starting point for hidden or concealed offenses is amended and starts to run when such offenses are uncovered.
GRECO also welcomed the improvements brought by the so-called “Sapin II Law” (Law no. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on Transparency, Combating Corruption and Modernisation of Economic Life) concerning the fight against corruption (especially thanks to the relaxation of the conditions to prosecute acts of corruption and trading influence having an international dimension and complicity). GRECO indicated in its report that it hoped that those amendments will lead to positive results in relation to the fight against corruption and trading influence, given the weight of the country in international business relations.
With respect to the transparency of political parties funding, GRECO noted that progress had been made, but it is concerned that despite the number of reforms concerning the integrity of political life (see in particular Law no. 2013-907 of 11 October 2013 relating to the transparency in public life, recently amended by Law no. 2017-1339 of 15 September 2017 for the trust in political life), only five of the eleven recommendations have been partially implemented. GRECO noted that certain of the recommendations are related to important matters, such as the consolidation of the accounts of political parties and the reinforcement of the National Commission of the Campaign Accounts and Politic Funding.