Author name: tconzelmann

Thomas Conzelmann advises UNCAC

Thomas Conzelmann has assumed a consultancy position for the Implementation Review Mechanism (IRM) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). He is tasked with contributing an advisory paper about possible changes to the mechanism once this peer review enters its second review phase (in 2024). Specifically, the consultancy paper looks at how other relevant review mechanisms of regional, sectoral and international instruments have pursued institutional reforms, and at the lessons learned from the operation or transition of those review mechanisms to follow-up phases.

Updates about this work will be posted here in due course

New chapter on OECD peer reviews to appear in September 2023

Another PROM publication is in the pipeline, this time dealing with peer reviews in the OECD. Beyond the cases of the Economic and Development Review Committee and the Working Group on Bribery covered in the main project, the chapter also looks at the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The publication, which is part of an edited volume edited by Claudio Radaelli and Fabrizio de Francesco, will appear in September 2o23.

Publication details:

Conzelmann, T. (2023). Peer reviews in the OECD. In F. de Francesco & C. M. Radaelli (Eds.), The Elgar companion to the OECD (forthcoming). Edward Elgar.


The OECD utilizes peer reviews in most of the policy domains where it has competences. Building on the idea of peer learning, mutual transparency and the search for best practices, peer reviews aim at the alignment of member state policies with international standards. This can happen through benchmarking and collective learning among the peers, or through the more robust techniques of peer and public pressure to push member states towards compliance. The present chapter discusses how peer reviews may create effects at the domestic level and probes into three examples of peer review in the OECD, covering different policy fields and using different approaches. The comparison between them shows differences in the use of different compliance logics and the relative influence of the OECD bureaucracy, the peer states, and the reviewed state. Critics of peer reviews refer to limited effectiveness in triggering policy alignment. This may overlook important indirect effects of peer reviews. Challenges for peer reviews in the OECD are high administrative workload and the organization’s growing and increasingly diverse membership.

New article by Thomas Conzelmann on EU rule of law peer review

As PROM moves on to new ventures, Thomas has started to look at another peer review not covered in the original project design. This is the EU’s recently installed rule of law peer review. It reviews the compliance of all EU member states with rule of law standards and this adds to the EU’s toolbox in the field.

Publication details:

Conzelmann, T. (2022). Peer reviewing the rule of law? A new mechanism to safeguard EU values. European Papers. A Journal on Law and Integration, 7(2), 671–695.

Abstract: The possible remedies that the EU can use against backsliding on the rule of law are limited: While art. 7 TEU has been widely conceived as ineffective, the recently introduced budget conditionality may become bogged down in court cases. Softer instruments like the Commission Rule of Law Report provide observations on rule of law developments, but are in themselves unable to address transgressions. Against this background, the Council has recently introduced a peer review mechanism that may exert peer and public pressure on transgressors. However, the agreed procedures show important deficits such as lacking transparency to the outside world, limited time devoted to the review, and the absence of clear country-specific recommendations that could become the focus of peer and public pressure. The new procedure thus needs reform to achieve results. A comparison with peer reviews among states in other international organizations show the potential that peer reviewing holds.

UN FACTI panel report published, PROM researchers contribute

The UN FACTI panel report has been published earlier this week. Valentina Carraro and Hortense Jongen were invited to contribute to the report with an independent expert advice.

The report, as adopted by a high-level UN panel, deals with improving global financial accountability, transparency and integrity. Part of the report deals with the monitoring and implementation of the measures. The respective recommendations by the panel focus on a reform of the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism and the reduction of overlap between the various peer reviews in the filed. These recommendation echo the findings of the PROM project and the work of Valentina and Hortense.

Read the entire UN FACTI panel report here.

The submission by Hortense and Valentina to the UN FACTI panel can be accessed here.

Valentina Carraro starts at Leiden University

Valentina Carraro has started a new position at the University of Leiden. She is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) and the Institute of Political Science, and Deputy Coordinator of the Global Transformations and Governance Challenges (GTGC) programme.

Find her contact details here.

Valentina Carraro and Hortense Jongen advise UN FACTI panel

At the request of High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda Financing for Sustainable Development (FACTI), Valentina Carraro, Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Groningen, and Hortense Jongen, Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, reviewed the effectiveness of the peer review mechanisms of six of the most important anticorruption and financial integrity agreements:

  • the Implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention against Corruption,
  • the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC),
  • the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Working Group on Bribery (OECD Antibribery Convention),
  • the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes,
  • the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting,
  • the Financial Action Task Force and the Financial Action Task Force-Style Regional Bodies.

You can find a summary of their findings and recommendations here, and their paper here.  (Background on the FACTI and a link to its interim report recommending changes in international and domestic laws to combat corruption and stem  illicit financial flows is here.)

Hortense Jongen starts at VU Amsterdam

After concluding a postdoctoral position at the University of Gothenburg, Dr Hortense Jongen has assumed a position as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the VU Amsterdam. Her contact details can be retrieved here. 

Successful PROM concluding conference


The PROM team held the concluding project workshop on 30 and 31 August 2018 in Brussels. We welcomed high-level speakers from the OECD, the OHCHR, the WTO, from diplomatic delegations at the seats of the international organizations we research, and from the Geneva-based NGO UPR-info. A number of academics from Europe and the United States also joined the conference.

Please go here for the final programme of the conference

Book writing under way

The PROM team is currently putting together a book-length study on the project and its results. We aim to publish the book with one of the major university presses. The working title of the study:

Valentina Carraro / Thomas Conzelmann / Hortense Jongen (2019):
Beyond the carrot and the stick – The authority of peer reviews in global governance

More news to follow…

PROM concluding conference 30/31 August 2018 Brussels

prom-square-small On 30 and 31 August 2018 PROM will hold its concluding conference under the title: Peer reviews among states: Towards effective global governance? The conference will be held at the Brussels Campus of Maastricht University. It will bring together a high-level group of practitioners and academics working on the design, authority, and effects of peer reviews. The aim is to exchange experiences and insights and to establish a more permanent research network.

Please go here for the final programme of the conference: PROM concluding workshop 2018-Final Programme

Interested guests are welcome to attend. In connection with catering and room arrangements, registration is requested at We can unfortunately not cover travel or accommodation costs for guests.

Questions about the workshop? Please go to the contact page.