Corruption

Switzerland plays an active role, both nationally and internationally, in the fight against corruption. To this end it has ratified various international agreements and established a broad-based interdepartmental working group. In addition, the Federal Council has adopted an anti-corruption strategy, which builds on certain aspects of existing instruments in this area.

The last 20 years have brought increased international awareness that corruption seriously damages governments, societies and economies and needs to be combated in a comprehensive manner. In recognition of this problem, three international conventions were concluded at the turn of the century and their implementation is monitored through country reviews. Moreover, one of the specific targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to "substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms". The international community has thus provided an important impetus for the prevention and combating of corruption at national level. At the same time, Switzerland is bringing its practical experience into the further development of international standards.

International agreements

Country reviews in the fight against corruption

The states parties to the international anti-corruption conventions of the UN, the Council of Europe and the OECD mutually monitor implementation at national level. This puts political pressure on all states parties to comply equally with their obligations.

Like all other states parties, Switzerland participates in the review mechanisms. This means that it undergoes regular reviews by two other states selected at random and, in turn, reviews other states.

There are different rules for the different review mechanisms. What they have in common is that a report, which can also contain recommendations, is published at the end of each review. Switzerland's country reports are available on the websites of the international lead organisations:

UN – UNCAC

Council of Europe - GRECO

OECD

Combating corruption in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the implementation of international treaty obligations, the response to the recommendations, and the overall fight against corruption are cross-cutting tasks involving various federal offices and authorities at all levels. In order to supervise and coordinate this work, the Federal Council set up an Interdepartmental Working Group on Combating Corruption on 19 December 2008. The FDFA chairs and acts as the secretariat of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Combating Corruption.

FDFA: Interdepartmental Working Group on Combating Corruption

On 25 November 2020 the Federal Council approved its anti-corruption strategy for the 2021–24 period. This strategy defines numerous objectives ranging from prevention and law enforcement to international cooperation. It addresses direct measures at the Federal Administration which will be responsible for their implementation. The Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG) on Combating Corruption is responsible for monitoring and promotes implementation of the measures by organising exchanges of information on the progress made and encouraging interaction between the relevant federal offices.

The Federal Council's Anti-Corruption Strategy (2021–24) (PDF, 2.6 MB, English)