Luxembourg should take a proactive approach to preventing government and police corruption, according to an intergovernmental human rights organisation.
The grand duchy needs to introduce a code of ethics for its police force, and it also needs to pass a freedom of information act, said the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (Greco).
“Luxembourg traditionally scores highly in international perception surveys on corruption, and risks of minor corruption or bribery seem virtually non-existent. That said, Luxembourg appears to take a more reactive than proactive approach to other forms of corruption in the broader sense, such as exchanges of services, favouritism etc. Even though some prevention measures and a committee for the prevention of corruption (Copreco) exist, there is no general or sectoral strategy for preventing and combating corruption, or any codes of ethics applicable to officials or members of the Grand Ducal Police. Such codes must be adopted, and they must include a mechanism for supervising compliance with the obligations they set out and imposing sanctions for non-compliance.”
“A reform of the Grand Ducal Police is currently being prepared. Among other things, it will involve a territorial reorganisation, the reinforcement of the administrative police, a revamping of careers to bring them into line with civil service careers and the introduction of specific disciplinary rules, with greater independence and a stronger role for the Inspectorate General of Police in investigating disciplinary matters. Greco believes that this reform is moving in the right direction, particularly with regard to the requirements governing the recruitment of the Inspector General and the desire to provide the Inspectorate General of Police with its own staff and budget. However, these resources will have to be upgraded to match this institution’s strengthened role, and the arrangements for recruiting and training its members will have to be stepped up.”
The organisation also criticised the lack of freedom of information legislation in the grand duchy:
“There are a number of good practices relating to access to information held by the government, such as the press releases published after each Government Council [cabinet] meeting or the granting of direct access to officials responsible for a given matter. This makes it all the more disappointing that citizens still have no general right of access to administrative documents in Luxembourg, and Greco hopes that this major shortcoming will soon be remedied.”
The watchdog is part of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, which is better known for hosting the European Court of Human Rights. Its reports are advisory, not binding.
Greco’s next review of Luxembourg will be released in 2020.