TALLINN – According to the Group of States against Corruption at the Council of Europe, Estonia has done well in implementing international recommendations concerning the fight against corruption, as it has complied with 73 percent of them.
Of the 15 recommendations, 11 have been fully implemented, while the remaining four have so far been partially implemented. The evaluation paper on Estonia highlights the importance of publicizing meetings of ministers and political advisers with lobbyists and the establishment of rules for lobby meetings. The rules on avoiding conflicts of interest and the advice to ministers and their advisers on how to comply with them are also praised.
Mari-Liis Soot, the head of the analysis department at the Estonian Ministry of Justice, said that after the fifth evaluation round, it is a pleasure to state that the Group of States against Corruption is satisfied with the indicators of corruption prevention in Estonia.
"We have complied with international recommendations to the extent of 73 percent -- this confirms that Estonia is a country that is striving to prevent corruption and increase transparency. Transparency and trust in the state are important safeguards for Estonia's security," the official said in a press release.
"Compared to the previous evaluation round, Estonia has started to pay more attention to the declaration of interests by political advisers. Clear rules on avoiding conflicts of interest at the Police and Border Guard Board, where efforts are being made to raise awareness of corruption and to take into account potential corruption risks, were also highlighted," she added.
Although the evaluation of the fight against corruption has officially ended, the Council of Europe continues to expect from Estonia information on the fulfillment of the remaining recommendations, which according to the international body have been partially fulfilled so far.
"The international evaluators pointed out that it is also important for Estonia to adopt the bill on the protection of persons reporting a work-related violation. It's currently on the round of approvals. In the future, we will also have to clarify the scope of the restrictions for ministers after they leave office, which are aimed at preventing the use of public positions in private interests," Soot added.