The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), which was established by the Council of Europe, regrets in a new report on Croatia that its parliament still has not adopted a code of conduct for MPs, Vecernji List daily said on Wednesday.
The code has not been adopted although more than six years have passed since its adoption was proposed to Croatia as one of the measures to combat corruption, said the paper.
In the 2015-20 anti-corruption strategy, Croatia set itself the end of 2015 as the deadline for adopting such a code, but it has not been met and the draft code is still being hammered out.
In a report adopted at the end of September but published today, GRECO says this situation is extremely unsatisfactory.
The Croatian parliament informed the authors of the report that the first draft of the code was prepared and sent to political parties for consideration in June 2019, and that the final draft is still being hammered out before being sent for voting. In other words, everything is still at a standstill, which prompted GRECO to give Croatia a new warning.
Croatia remains almost the only GRECO member state without a code of conduct for members of parliament and we regret that, it says in the report.
In a recent report on the rule of law in Croatia, the European Commission noted that it was unusual that there was no code of conduct for MPs or top executive functions, although there was one for civil servants.
The code of conduct for MPs should stipulate that they should refrain from voting on decisions when a conflict of interest is possible, how they should act when they are offered gifts or other benefits, and an oversight and enforcement mechanism so that it does not remain a dead letter.
In its report, GRECO notes that Croatia has complied in part with a recommendation on improving communication between prosecutors and judges and the public, and a recommendation on the obligation of judges and prosecutors to declare their assets.