Posted on Dec 23, 2021
Croatia: More must be done to prevent corruption and promote integrity in central government and law enforcement, anti-corruption experts say.
In its compliance report published on December 22nd, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) assesses measures taken by the Croatian authorities to implement recommendations issued in the Fifth Round Evaluation Report on Croatia, which was adopted in early December 2019 and made public in March 2020.
GRECO concludes that Croatia has implemented satisfactorily none of the 17 recommendations contained in that Evaluation Report. Eight recommendations have been partly implemented and nine have not been implemented.
With respect to top executive functions, the draft Law on Conflict of Interest Prevention appears to go in the right direction in order to remedy some recommendations. It foresees new mechanisms to increase the integrity of top executive functionaries, notably a mechanism for disclosing conflicts of interest, the annual reporting of assets and the provision of a cooling off period. However, this Law needs to be assessed by GRECO, once it has been adopted.
Concerning law enforcement agencies, GRECO welcomes that measures necessary for abandoning the practice of fines being paid in cash directly to police officers are underway.
The inclusion of integrity as a mandatory subject in the initial and in-service training for police officers are also steps in the right direction. This being said, a revised code of ethics for the police is yet to be adopted, a comprehensive risk assessment of corruption prone areas in the police is to be carried out and possibilities to further improve appointment and promotion processes within the police are to be further explored.
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