EU Council Corruption Report on Moldova: Implementation of Recommendations Is Unsatisfactory

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The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published a report on the reforms carried out by the Republic of Moldova in combating and preventing corruption. GRECO concludes that the Republic of Moldova has satisfactorily implemented or addressed six of the eighteen recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report. Of the remaining recommendations, ten have been partially implemented and two have not been implemented. As for the deputies, apart from the parliamentary practice of lifting immunity, there is virtually no progress in fulfilling the outstanding recommendations, tvrmoldova notes. It remains to adopt a code of conduct for parliamentarians, including rules for various situations of conflict of interest and interaction with third parties/lobbyists. More efforts should be made to update the Parliament's website with details on legislative drafts, engage in constructive public consultation, and ensure that the public's views are adequately taken into account. The National Integrity Body remains understaffed and needs an institutional strategy. Regarding judges, the ex-officio withdrawal of the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General from the SCM, which in itself is an important step establishing the criteria for the selection of judges and members of the SCM, the statutory obligation of the SCM to motivate all its decisions, the adoption of reasoned decisions on disciplinary matters and certain changes in the disciplinary procedure of judges are positive developments. However, it should be emphasized that the pre-screening process of the SCM candidates, the proposed screening for certain categories of judges, as well as the increased role of the Minister of Justice in convening the General Assembly of Judges has a negative impact on the implementation of some outstanding recommendations and may undo all the progress made so far. As far as prosecutors are concerned, draft amendments are currently being developed to abolish the ex officio membership of the Minister of Justice and the President of the SCM in the Superior Council of Prosecutors, and to review and strengthen the legal framework regarding the disciplinary responsibility of prosecutors. Officials are encouraged to adopt the proposed changes and implement the outstanding recommendations. GRECO concludes that the current low level of implementation of the recommendations remains "generally unsatisfactory" and encourages the Republic of Moldova to submit a progress report on the implementation of the pending recommendations no later than 31 March 2024.