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Athens meeting 2002

Athens Statement on Political Corruption

Statement following the TI Western Europe group meeting in Athens
13-15 September 2002

Representatives of the TI Western Europe group's chapters and contacts met in Athens, Greece, on 13-15 September 2002 to exchange national experiences of political corruption in Europe and about the action of their national parliaments and governments to address this problem. The meeting was hosted by TI Greece. Delegates from 11 countries attended: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. Members of the TI-Secretariat were also present.

All delegates recognised the importance of transparency in the financial activities of political parties as a means of exposing potentially corrupt practices and influences, and the need for civil society to play an active role in this respect. Following a constructive exchange of views and information, they all agreed to work towards implementing minimum standards for transparency in that field in all European States. To that end the delegates resolved to produce a draft statement of principles for transparency in political party funding and election spending to be presented for adoption by the TI Western Europe group at its meeting during TI's Annual General Meeting in Casablanca in October 2002.

In addition, they agreed to produce and publish a report to analyse the current regulatory and legislative framework dealing with transparency requirements for political party funding and expenditure in Western European states. The report also deals with current standards of enforcement and contain detailed recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform and modernisation, where relevant.

Delegates recognised the work already done by other TI groups on political party funding, but noted that European States varied in their approach to transparency, with some States still having no regulation or legislation in the area .

Delegates stated that they value the work of the Council of Europe on the financing of political parties and that TI would make contributions to it. They also took into consideration the work of the EU in examining the issue as part of the programme of preparation for EU enlargement following the Nice Treaty. They recognised the urgency and importance of that work in light of the potential enlargement of the EU from 2004. The TI delegates therefore pledged the support and contribution of their chapters to the work of the EU in this area.

Adopted by meeting participants:

Arvanitakis, A. TI-Hellas Secretariat
Aznar, Jorge Gonzalez Board member, TI-Spain/ University professor
Borgen, Jan Secretary General, TI-Norway
Burgess, Kristjan TI's contact in Iceland/ Journalist
Dell, Gillian Programme Manager - TI-Secretariat
Doublet, Yves-Marie Member, TI-France/ Ecole Nationale d'Administration
Elshorst, Hansjörg Acting Executive Director, TI-Secretariat
Ewing, Keith TI's Senior Adviser on Political Corruption/ King's College, University of London
Ferretti, Maria Paola Member, TI-Italy/ University researcher
Hatzidimitriou, Zafiris Board member, TI-Hellas/ Lawyer
Ishøy, Torben Chairman, TI-Denmark/ Medical consultant
Koechlin, Lucy Committee Member, TI-Switzerland
Kurtulus Ercis Chairman, TI-Turkey/ Financial expert
Kurtulus, Shirley Member, TI-Turkey
Lederberger, Zora Project Coordinator, TI-Switzerland
Makrydimitris, A. University Professor, Greece
Miguet, Arnauld London School of Economics and Political Science
Moore-Williams, Anne Executive Committee, TI-United Kingdom/ Lawyer
Papayiannides, A. Journalist, Greece
Rohde-Liebenau, Björn Executive Committee, TI-Germany/ Lawyer and consultant
Strauss, Michael Board Member, TI-United Kingdom
Syrigos, Angelos Board Member, TI-Hellas/ Lawyer
Theodossiou, Vaki Board Member, TI-Hellas/ Physicist
Tsouderou, Virginia Chair, TI-Hellas
Wolkers, Marie Programme Officer, TI-Secretariat

The TI Western Europe group:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

The Western European group chapters represented in Athens call on all European chapters to contribute to the discussion and to work in collaboration on the issues noted in this statement.