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Switzerland plays an active role, both nationally and internationally, in the fight against corruption. This goes hand-in-hand with the fight against organized crime and money-laundering. There is often a direct connection between corruption and the illegal holdings of politically exposed persons (PEPs).
Recent years have brought increased international awareness that corruption seriously damages the economy and must therefore be universally combated. For this reason, on 19 December 2008, the Federal Council decided to create an interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG) on Combating Corruption, and entrusting it with the task of harmonizing anti-corruption efforts on the national level and enhancing the coordination of strategy implementation in the fight against corruption in conformity with the pertinent international recommendations. The FDFA exercises the Chairmanship of this Working Group and assumes the responsibility for the Secretariat.
- Switzerland played a central role in the preparation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s 1999 Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. It has already ratified the Convention and amended the Criminal Code accordingly. Actively bribing foreign public officials is thus a punishable offence for both companies and private individuals. The “Peer Review” monitoring process utilized by the OECD’s Working Group on Combating Corruption makes it possible to oversee and monitor the implementation and the application of the Convention’s principles.
- • Switzerland ratified the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention and its supplementary protocol on corruption on 31 March 2006. They came into force in Switzerland on 1 July 2006. Their effect is to extend the provisions of the OECD Convention to cover the passive bribery of foreign public officials and private bribery, which thus also become criminal offences. Within the Council of Europe, Switzerland is resolutely engaged in the GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) Commission whose aim is to support the fight against corruption by means of mutual country evaluations among the Member States.
- Switzerland signed the UN Convention against corruption in Mérida (Mexico) on 10 December 2003. On 24 September 2009, the Convention was ratified by Switzerland.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs has published a brochure entitled “Preventing Corruption – Information for Swiss Businesses operating abroad”, outlining the active precautions that they can take against corruption (SECO, 2nd revised edition 2008).