The Model Code of Conduct for Public Servants developed and adopted with the support of the Council of Europe was presented today at a high-level conference in Yerevan. Based on the model rules, specific Codes of Conduct for all Armenian public institutions will be developed and adopted. The conference signalled the launch of this process.
The “High-level Conference on the Model Code of Conduct for Public Servants in Armenia” was jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the Corruption Prevention Commission of the Republic of Armenia, in the framework of the European Union and Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance II (PGGII) Project on “Strengthening institutional capacities to fight and prevent corruption in Armenia”.
The development and promotion of the Model Code of Conduct, as well as the preparation of the respective guidance has been envisaged in the Armenian Public Service Law as part of the Corruption Prevention Commission’s responsibility. Furthermore, the adoption of codes of conduct for public officials is one of the recommended actions by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) as a measure towards enhancing integrity of public officials.
The Model Code of Conduct for Public Servants in Armenia is part of the tangible results of the co-operation between the Corruption Prevention Commission of Armenia (CPC) and the PGGII Project and the result of a long process which begun in 2021 and included a public conference on corruption prevention, integrity and codes of conduct in February 2022, as well as other forms of interaction with the stakeholders through the national consultation process, the outcomes of which were taken into account in the final version of the Model Code.
The purpose of today’s event was to present the Model Code as officially endorsed at high level of the Armenian government, highlight its essential role in the development of the corruption prevention system of Armenia, and promote the next steps, namely the adoption of specific codes of conduct by all institutions, as well as associated guidance and training on effective implementation of the rules and more systematic promotion of ethical practices at all levels of public service. The PGGII project will continue supporting the Armenian authorities on this path.
The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, the Ambassador of the European Union to Armenia, and the Executive Secretary of GRECO and Head of the Action against Economic Crime Department of the Council of Europe delivered keynote speeches at the event. The importance of Codes of Ethics for public officials in preventing and fighting corruption was highlighted by the keynote speakers. Minister of Justice Karen Andreasyan expressed Armenia’s strong commitment to progress further towards an effective anti-corruption system in line with European standards and to address pending GRECO recommendations in this regard. European Union Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin and GRECO Executive Secretary and Head of Council of Europe Action against Economic Crime Department Hanne Juncher encouraged Armenian authorities to continue to take concrete steps in this direction and renewed the commitment of the Council of Europe and the EU to continue to support Armenia in this endeavour.
Corruption Prevention Commission Chair Haykuhi Harutyunyan presented the main elements of the newly adopted Model Code and the next steps required for its adaptation and adoption by public institutions at all levels, as well as related guidance and training.
Participants of the event, including over sixty representatives of public authorities and civil society, also learned about good practices and practical challenges faced by other countries in the adoption and implementation of rules and codes of conduct for public officials. The Deputy Minister of Justice of Albania shared her country’s experience in this regard.
A forward-looking discussion followed these interventions, focusing on practical implementation modalities of the adopted Model Code, and its integration with other anti-corruption mechanisms in order to strengthen the overall system, with the ultimate aim to induce a progressive positive change of culture and mentality in the Armenian society as a whole.
This activity was organised in the framework of the Project on “Strengthening institutional capacities to fight and prevent corruption in Armenia” which is funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe in their Partnership for Good Governance II.