Transparency International willing to join Anti-Corruption Task Force under certain conditions

October 06. 2022. – 09:12 AM



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Earlier this week, the Hungarian Parliament passed several anti-corruption bills aiming to convince the European Commission to pay out the funds which have been withheld from the country as part of the rule of law proceedings.

The Anti-Corruption Task Force, which was disbanded in 2013, after NGOs (such as Transparency International) quit, has now been re-established. The NGO's quit after the amendment of the Freedom of Information Act had been adopted, because based on that it seemed to them that "there is no genuine intention on the part of government leaders to curb corruption".

In recent years, Transparency International Hungary has continuously protested against the government's "measures against NGOs", but they are now open to cooperation under certain conditions in the interest of Hungary's future. Their position was presented on the organisation's website after the law was passed.

A precondition for their participation in the anti-corruption task force is that the agenda of the task force be made public, or at least that there should be a procedure allowing for prior consultation of stakeholders.

According to Transparency, the functioning of the Task Force should be designed in such a way that the chairperson of the Integrity Authority be obliged to convene a meeting at the initiative of a predetermined number of its civil society members, and the Chairperson of the Integrity Authority should be able to initiate the proceedings of the Authority as well as request clarification from the Integrity Authority on decisions made in specific cases.

"TI Hungary reserves the right to turn to the public and to withdraw if there should be any serious concerns about the functioning of the Task Force," the statement said.

“Should we see a further deterioration of the corruption situation in parallel with the functioning of the Task Force, TI Hungary will reserve the right to withdraw from the Task Force.”

The Anti-Corruption Task Force will have 21 members, 10 of whom will be civilians. The body will be chaired by the chairman of the Integrity Authority, which is also being newly set up. The task force will prepare an annual report for the government, which is to include recommendations on how to prevent, detect and sanction corruption.

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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.