ArmInfo.n July 12, the first meeting of the Council on Anti- Corruption Policy was held in the government of Armenia on July 12 headed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
As reported by the press service of the government, Prime Minister Pashinyan made a speech in which he said: "What was the main problem of the fight against corruption in Armenia? The problem that it was constantly talked about, but nothing changed in fact. Most of the reasons why this happened, in my opinion, lay in the lack of political will, moreover, the anti-corruption struggle and anti-corruption mechanisms in Armenia never corresponded to the scale and content of talking about them, "the prime minister emphasized.
Pashinyan noted that today the Armenian government has a greater political will to combat the principle of combating corruption, but today the fight against corruption in Armenia is not in the extent and efficiency that is consistent with the government's political will.
"This happens primarily because of the lack of institutionalized mechanisms. Of course, and I talked about this several times. We should not ignore the systemic causes, including possible systemic resistance, and today we are faced with the task of creating mechanisms to combat corruption and prevent it in Armenia. In the field of fighting corruption, it is desirable to get a result 100% in line with the political will of the Armenian government, which has a parliamentary majority in our country, "Pashinyan stressed.
The prime minister also said that in this area, of course, there are certain problems, the most important of which in his opinion are: to organize the fight against corruption solely in such ways, and with the assistance of such structures so that they suddenly or in some way do not undermine democratization and democratic reality of Armenia.
"These are also very important issues that we put forward, but one thing is clear: the Armenian government and the parliamentary majority will fight corruption with the toughest methods. At the same time, I consider it very important to note that by corruption we mean not only corruption in the past, but also the corruption that exists at the moment, and which is possible in the future . Of course, corruption in the past is dangerous, corruption is more dangerous now, but future corruption is becoming more dangerous for the future of our country and people. And therefore, we need to move forward quickly, but with thoughtful steps, create guarantees that corruption in the Republic of Armenia cannot have the scale and influence that it had before. I would like to thank our colleagues in Parliament, the Ombudsman and representatives of non- governmental organizations who are involved in this process, hope that we will be able to make this joint work truly effective, "the Prime Minister concluded.
In turn, the Minister of Justice of Armenia, Rustam Badasyan, presented the draft Anti- Corruption Strategy and the draft action plan for its implementation, which has already been published on e-draft.am. He noted that the document is still being introduced to state bodies, adding that discussions are continuing with civil society and non-governmental organizations.
The Minister noted that the main goal of the anti-corruption strategy is to ensure the consistent implementation of the concepts and principles proclaimed by the government in the fight against corruption in all necessary directions. To achieve this goal, the following tasks were put forward: creating and developing the necessary institutional foundations, building the image of a legitimate and decent public servant, reducing opportunities for dual approaches in the sectoral legislative field and constantly introducing tools of transparency and participation to ensure public control, improving the detection of corruption cases and so on. The strategy proposes combating corruption in three areas: preventing corruption, disclosing corruption offenses and anti-corruption education and raising awareness. According to Rustam Badasyan, discussions are currently underway on the implementation of the institutional model of anti-corruption policy and the creation of two main structures in this regard: the commission for the prevention of corruption and the commission for the fight against corruption.
The Minister also touched upon the adoption of the draft law "On confiscation of illegal property" in the framework of the fight against corruption. He said that the bill is at the final stage, the results of international expertise have beenobtained. In the near future, the bill will be announced and submitted for public discussion.
On the second issue on the agenda, the Minister of Justice presented the Main Conceptual Directions of the Strategy for the Reform of the Judicial System for 2019-2023. According to him, the reforms are planned to be implemented in two phases: short-term (October 2019- October 2020) and long-term (October 2019 December 2020).
Short-term reforms include developing the necessary legal framework for assessing judges and submitting projects to the National Assembly, building capacity and providing material and technical support to members of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, strengthening the guarantees arising from the status of judges, creating and implementing e-justice system the long-term program of 2019-2023, including the automatic collection of statistics and the digitization of the archive, the improvement of the Criminal Code, etc.
Prime Minister Pashinyan instructed the Minister of Justice to continue discussions with interested government agencies and NGOs on the proposals submitted by the Anti-Corruption Strategy, and to submit a revised draft to the next meeting of the Council.