On 8 March, the Croatian delegation participated in the meeting of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions in Paris.
Minister of Justice and Public Administration Ivan Malenica spoke at the meeting to express the intention and readiness of the Republic of Croatia to accede to the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions.
Croatia sent a request to the OECD to accede to the Convention and the Working Group in 2017. The evaluation process started in 2022 when Croatia passed the preliminary assessment of the Working Group and completed the Secretariat’s questionnaire on the legislative framework and law enforcement in the areas covered by the Convention.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration, in cooperation with the OECD Secretariat and with the support of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM), carried out a project from 2020 to 2022 entitled “Raising awareness of the importance of combating bribery in international businesses”, which produced a Report on the compliance of the Croatian legislative and institutional framework with the Convention and recommendations for their improvement.
The Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the Anti-Bribery Convention) was adopted in December 1997 and entered into force in February 1999. The Convention has 44 States Parties – in addition to 38 OECD member states, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Peru, the Russian Federation and South Africa are also Parties.
The Convention is the first and only international treaty specifically aimed at transnational bribery in the field of business. Being a legally binding international instrument, its Parties agree to establish the bribery of foreign public officials as a criminal offence under their laws and to investigate, prosecute and sanction the offence. The OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, established in 1994, is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention.
In the continuation of the procedure, Croatia will proceed to adapt the legislative framework to the provisions of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.
On the sidelines of the Working Group meeting, Minister Malenica met with Chair of the Working Group Danielle Goudriaan, OECD Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen and Deputy Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs Antonio Gomes, to discuss the activities undertaken by Croatia in the OECD accession process.