NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan was included in the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption, Kazakh Agency for Combating Corruption told New Europe.

“By ratifying the relevant law, Kazakhstan officially became the fiftieth member of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) on 30 December 2019,” the Kazakh Anti-Corruption Agency said.

Kazakhstan’s entry into the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption will increase the possibility of extradition of criminals who are wanted abroad, the agency said. In addition, it will improve the quality of the return of assets smuggled out of the country.

According to the Kazakh Agency, the Anti-Corruption Service is currently looking for 65 criminals who have committed corruption crimes – 33 of them are abroad.

The countries of the Group of States Against Corruption regularly monitor anti-corruption legislation for compliance with European standards. “This is a kind of audit by the Council of Europe, which allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-corruption policy in the country,” the Kazakh Agency said.

GRECO’s membership now spans over three continents – Europe, America and Asia-, covering a population close to 1.2 billion people.

As a consequence, a delegation of Kazakhstan will participate in GRECO´s dynamic process of mutual evaluation and peer pressure, the Council of Europe said in a press release. GRECO will start planning the evaluation of Kazakhstan in respect of the various themes addressed in its evaluation rounds, to be completed in the upcoming years.

GRECO is the Council of Europe anti-corruption body in charge of ensuring compliance with and effective implementation of the Organisation’s anti-corruption standards. It helps states to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms.

GRECO member states now comprise the 47 Council of Europe member states, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the United States of America.