“We call on all those PACE members whose behavior has been found as unethical or in violation of the Assembly’s Code of Conduct or have refused to cooperate with the Investigation Body to immediately suspend their activities.”

On Sunday, 22 April 2018, the Independent External Investigation Body, set up to uncover allegations of corruption and misconduct of present and former PACE members, published its final report. The SOC Group has from the beginning supported and fought for the set-up of this body. It carried out a detailed independent inquiry into these allegations and examined the practical functioning of the Assembly in its various activities and its decision-making mechanisms. The Group welcomes the publication of the report

Concerning the lobbying activities performed by a number of former PACE members, the Investigation Body concluded that they acted contrary to the PACE Code of Conduct. As to the corruptive activities in favour of Azerbaijan, the Investigation Body established that there was a strong suspicion that certain current and former members of PACE had engaged in activities of a corruptive nature. Here included is former PACE President Pedro Agramunt.

The allegations raised against our Group member Stefan Schennach are not related to corruptive activities, nor do they concern lack of cooperation. They concern the interpretation of the mandate of a monitoring rapporteur.

The SOC Group calls on those PACE members having been alleged of corruptive behavior, misconduct or lack of cooperation, to immediately suspend all their activities until the release of the report of the Rules Committee. The Group will further continue to take all measures necessary to ensure that the PACE’s regulatory and ethical frameworks are amended in a manner that includes the recommendations of the Investigation Body and GRECO. These changes should be implemented in a way that effectively tackles and prevents the spread of any form of corruption or misconduct, as recommended by the Inquiry Body.