At the 53rd plenary session of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) held on 9th December 2011 in Strasbourg, Marin Mrčela, the Judge of the Supreme Court and head of the Croatian delegation for GRECO, was elected for the president of this most important European anti-corruption body.
GRECO (the Group of States against Corruption) was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe as the central European anti-corruption body which monitors the compliance of member states with anti-corruption standards through evaluation rounds. GRECO counts 49 members from Europe and the United States.
Judge Mrčela was elected for the President by a majority vote of representatives of Member States, in competition with applicants from Great Britain, Austria and Norway. Selection of judge Mrčela is a result of his previous successful participation in the work of this body, but also an acknowledgment for the Republic of Croatia.
At the same session, GRECO also adopted the compliance report, which concluded that Croatia met all recommendations concerning the transparency of political party financing.
In the Third Round of evaluation, GRECO touched upon transparency of financing political parties, and incrimination in the Republic of Croatia. On December 4th 2009 Croatia was given six recommendations in the field of financing political parties and five in the field of incrimination.
The Report highlights the need to establish independent monitoring mechanism, to consolidate provisions on financing within one act, introduce monitoring of financing electoral campaigns, that will be performed during and immediately after the elections, to improve the provisions about control of donations and reports on funding and to establish a system of dissuasive sanctions for violations of the funding rules.
The Republic of Croatia submitted to GRECO a detailed report on the implementation of recommendations which were incorporated in the Act on Financing Political Activities and Election Campaigns from 11th February 2011. The report and the newly established monitoring system, which was applied for the first time in the recent parliamentary elections, was presented by the head of Croatian delegation, judge Marin Mrčela. The plenary session discussion concluded that Croatia has completely fulfilled all recommendations in the area of transparency of financing political parties. The implementation of recommendations in the area of incrimination has also been discussed at this session, leading to the conclusion that, primarily because the new Criminal Code (adopted on 21 October 2011) has not yet entered into force, most of the recommendations in this area are still considered to be partially met.