The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau of Latvia (KNAB) continues to address anti-corruption issues effectively, the European Commission reveals in its 2023 Rule of Law Report. The report also commends the actions taken in the area of anti-corruption policy planning, including the adoption of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Action Plan 2023–2025 and the implementation of its objectives.
The European Commission highlights in particular the effective work of KNAB in preventing and combating corruption, including in drafting and improving legislation thus achieving a number of important changes. The adoption of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Action Plan 2023–2025, the successful implementation of the tasks contained therein, as well as the extension of income restrictions for members of local government councils under the law On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials are positively assessed.
The European Commission also commends other actions taken by KNAB to reduce corruption, including the performance indicators achieved and the strengthening of inter-institutional cooperation through support to allies such as the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in its criminal proceedings.
The European Commission has highlighted the successful functioning of the declaration system for public officials, including the mechanisms in place to verify declarations. This system, managed by the State Revenue Service, has an indirect link to the legislative framework regarding the prevention of conflicts of interest and its public availability serves as an important preventive tool in preventing conflicts of interest and corruption. If the State Revenue Service or the public detects any violation of this legislative framework, it shall inform KNAB which, within the limits of its competence, shall assess the information received.
At the same time, the European Commission praises the significant efforts of Latvia in strengthening the transparency of interest representation, or so-called lobbying, in the legislative framework. The European Commission believes that Latvia should continue the work it has started to ensure the effective implementation of the legislation, including the establishment of a specific register of interest representation. Work on various integrity issues related to senior executive and law enforcement functions was also positively assessed.
The European Commission’s document assesses the rule of law situation in the European Union Member States and the implementation of recommendations made in the previous year, and also makes new recommendations to Member States. The document covers four pillars, i.e. anti-corruption framework, national judicial systems, media freedom and pluralism, and institutional checks and balances.
A full version of the annual report on the rule of law situation in the European Union drafted by the European Commission is available on the website of the European Commission.