YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia became the 37th member of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) on Monday–with Armenian authorities handing a letter to the Executive Secretary of GRECO–addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer–notifying him of Armenia’s accession.
Organized to correspond with Armenia’s entry–a seminar on the Council’s anti-corruption mechanisms convened on January 19 to provide detailed information about GRECO.
Armenian President Kocharian’s aide on anti-corruption Bagrat Yesayan–said that with the adoption of a strategic plan of action to stamp out corruption–and entry into GRECO–indicate authorities’ clear-cut political will to integrate European standards into society. He also stressed that Armenia’s membership to GRECO presumes legislative commitmen’s–to be specified after the first phase of monitoring Armenia.
GRECO’s approach to fighting corruption is multidisciplinary–and includes cross-border cooperation between states and international institutions.
Deputy parliament speaker Vahan Hovhannisian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the political organization that initiated and served as the driving force behind Armenia joining the GRECO–said corruption has penetrated all government agencies–and that the vital element necessary to root out corruption is the will of authorities.