Cyprus commended for the independent anti-corruption authority, says Jourova

Cyprus is commended for establishing an independent anti-corruption authority, showing political commitment to the rule of law, Commissioner Věra Jourová said Friday, addressing the 4th Cyprus Forum in Nicosia. She said that this authority is encouraged to become fully operational and gain the trust of civil servants and the population.

The Commissioner also said that Cyprus is praised for its support of European Media Freedom Act, emphasizing the importance of transparency in media ownership and state expenditures on media advertising.

In a video message the Commissioner said that Cyprus’ efforts to reform the justice system are acknowledged, but concerns are raised about the advisory and prosecutorial roles of the law office and the independence of the prosecution service. She also noted that Cyprus is encouraged to address challenges related to interpreting and applying legal exceptions to access public sector information.

Jourova also said that the European Commission adopted a package of measures to fight corruption in the EU and globally and this includes updating and strengthening the legal framework to combat and prevent corruption, covering both the public and private sectors.

She also spoke of the efforts to harmonize the definitions of criminal offenses in line with international standards and increase the level of criminal sanctions across the EU. Jourova further said that national law enforcement authorities ensure effective investigations and prosecutions of corruption and have improved the cooperation procedures among all involved parties.

The Commissioner also spoke about prevention, noting that building a culture of integrity comes through information campaigns, research, and education programs. She noted that EU Member states are urged to adopt mechanisms for open access to information, managing conflicts of interest, and regulating interactions between the private and public sectors. Specialized anti-corruption bodies are to be established with adequate resources and training.

According to Jourova, the EU’s foundational value is the rule of law, which is essential for protecting democracy and fundamental rights. Cyprus is urged to complete necessary reforms related to judicial independence, combating corruption, media freedom, and checks and balances.