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12° Nicosia,
18 July, 2024
 
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EU wants more independence for Cyprus prosecutor

European Commission recommends Cyprus to strengthen accountability of Prosecution Service

Source: CNA

The European Commission has stressed the need for Cyprus to strengthen the independence and the accountability of the Prosecution Service.

In its Rule of Law Report 2023, the European Commission recommends Cyprus to "strengthen the independence and the accountability of the Prosecution Service, including by providing for a possibility of review of the decision of the Attorney General not to prosecute or to discontinue proceedings, taking into account European standards on independence and autonomy of the prosecution".

The report also lists recommendations to introduce transparency rules for officials' assets, adequately resource the Independent Anti-Corruption Authority, promote legislation on state advertising, improve governance of public media and promote a framework for public consultation in the legislative process.

The annual report for 2023, which was presented at a press conference by the Vice-President of the Commission for values and transparency, Vera Jourova, contains chapters with a review of the situation and developments in each member state. This is the fourth round of reports on the rule of law, which began in 2020 with the aim of recording shortcomings in each member state in cooperation with local authorities, civil society and stakeholders, as well as recording recommendations.

In the chapter for Cyprus, it is stated that considering other developments that took place in the period of reference, and in addition to recalling the commitments made under the national Recovery and Resilience Plan relating to certain aspects of the justice system and the anti-corruption framework, there are some recommendations for Cyprus.

The report calls on Cyprus to strengthen independence and accountability of Prosecution including a possibility of review of AG decisions not to prosecute or to discontinue proceedings'

The Commission recommends to Cyprus to strengthen the independence and the accountability of the Prosecution Service, including by providing for a possibility of review of the decision of the Attorney General not to prosecute or to discontinue proceedings, taking into account European standards on independence and autonomy of the prosecution.

It also recommends to introduce rules on asset disclosure for elected officials to establish regular and comprehensive filing, combined with effective, regular and full verifications

In addition, it recommends to ensure that the recently established Independent Authority for Anti-Corruption has the financial, human and technical resources to effectively perform its competences.

The Commission recommends Cyprus to adopt legislation to ensure fair and transparent distribution of advertising expenditure by the state and state-owned companies and advance with the process aimed at strengthening the rules and mechanisms to enhance the independent governance of public service media taking into account European standards on public service media.

Finally, it recommends Cyprus to proceed with the adoption of the framework for the effective and timely consultation of stakeholders in the legislative process and ensure its implementation.

Concerning the recommendations in the 2022 Rule of Law Report, the Commission says that Cyprus has made significant progress on ensuring that the reform on the appointment of the Supreme Constitutional Court and Supreme Court judges takes into account European standards on judicial appointments and the opinion of the Venice Commission.

It notes that Cyprus has made some progress on ensuring that the reform on the composition of the Supreme Council of the Judicature takes into account European standards regarding Councils for the Judiciary and the opinion of the Venice Commission.

The Report for Cyprus says that the country made some progress on continuing to improve the effective investigation and adjudication of high-level corruption cases, including by strengthening the Office of the Attorney General and its budgetary independence.

But it stresses that there was no progress on introducing rules on asset disclosure for elected officials to establish regular and comprehensive filing, combined with effective, regular and full verifications.

The European Commission notes that Cyprus made some progress on strengthening the rules and mechanisms to enhance the independent governance of public service media taking into account European standards on public service media.

Concluding, the Report points out some progress on establishing a framework for the effective and timely consultation of stakeholders in the legislative process.

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