Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption, welcomes the inclusion of an anti-corruption stipulation in the next 5-year plan for the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs (Stockholm Programme), and calls on the EU to include concrete anti-corruption measures for EU member states in the post-Stockholm action plan.
The Stockholm Programme is a plan whose implementation will -among other home affairs areas- define EU action to evaluate and fight corruption, including crucial areas affecting the security of EU citizens such as police and customs cooperation, rescue services, criminal and civil law cooperation. The post-Stockholm action plan, to be adopted in June 2010, must include concrete anti-corruption requirements for EU member states to comply with.
“The EU now has a mandate which enables them to develop a robust periodical evaluation mechanism of anti-corruption efforts in 27 EU member states and also for countries aspiring to enter the EU, with the duty to hold all governments to account,” said Jana Mittermaier, Head of TI’s Liaison Office to the EU. “Regular reporting and evaluation on anti-corruption measures in member states will help strengthen European citizens’ trust in their own public institutions and those of the EU.”
Several EU member states rank among the highest scoring in TI’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived levels of public-sector corruption. However, the EU is far from being free of corruption, with eight countries in the index scoring 5 or less, an indication of widespread corruption. “Sustained anti-corruption efforts are required to improve integrity and accountability, and to ensure that both individual EU member states and the EU meet the anti-corruption expectations of their citizens,” said Mittermaier.
TI is calling for the periodic anti-corruption evaluation of the 27 member states to include:
- Simultaneous assessments in all 27 EU member states (including candidate countries such as Croatia)
- Publication of a regional report including all evaluation reports
- Comprehensive anti-corruption assessment of corruption-prone areas (e.g. public contracting and political party financing)
- Use of the report findings in public debates
- Strong measures to discourage non-compliance
The new EU mandate reflects the results of a public consultation conducted by the European Commission in December 2008. More than 88 percent of respondents said the EU should do more in the fight against corruption.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption
Note to Editors: There are TI chapters in almost every EU member state, accession candidate and potential candidate state. For more information on TI’s views regarding anti-corruption and the EU visit: www.transparencyinternational.eu
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