Convinced of the need to pursue, as a matter of priority, a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against corruption, including the adoption of appropriate legislation and preventive measures; Emphasizing that corruption threatens the rule of law, democracy and human rights, undermines good governance, fairness and social justice, distorts competition, hinders economic development and endangers the stability of democratic institutions and the moral foundations of society;Believing that an effective fight against corruption requires increased, rapid and well functioning international co-operation in criminal matters.