The European Commission has announced new measures to combat corruption both within the EU and globally.
- What is the purpose of the new Anti-corruption rules?
The new anti-corruption measures aim to maintain the rule of law, protect public funds, and ensure fair competition as corruption can hinder economic growth and make inequality worse.
- Why are the new Anti-corruption measures necessary?
Despite many member states being rated as low corruption in global corruption indices, 68% of Europeans still perceive corruption as widespread in their country. It is estimated that corruption costs the EU economy at least €120 billion per year. This is an indication that, action is required.
- What are the main elements of these new measures?
1️⃣ Communication on the fight against corruption
This includes the development of new strategies and tools at both the EU and member state levels to combat corruption.
An EU network will work against corruption and will bring together different law enforcement, practitioners and others to help prevent corruption across Europe.
The group will work with the European Commission to identify areas where corruption is a big problem and develop an EU anti-corruption strategy.
2️⃣ A Directive on Combatting Corruption, which aims to modernize the existing EU anti-corruption legal framework in the following ways:
Preventing corruption and building a culture of integrity by:
✔ Raising awareness for corruption
✔ Imposing obligation on Member states for the disclosure and verification of assets of public officials.
✔ Setting up anti-corruption bodies and ensure training for authorities.
One legal act for all corruption offences and sanctions which will harmonise definitions and increase the level of criminal offences for the following among others:
✔ Trading of influence
✔ Abuse of functions
✔ Obstruction of justice
✔ Illicit enrichment related to corruption offences.
Ensuring effective investigations and prosecution of corruption by requiring Member states to provide law enforcement and prosecutors with the necessary:
✔ Investigative tools
✔ Lift of immunity or privileges and immunity during corruption investigations.
✔ Making sure that there is enough time to prosecute corruption cases by setting minimum time limits for when charges can be filed.
3️⃣ Expanding the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) sanctions toolbox to cover serious acts of corruption
The new measures will help achieve CFSP objectives which include preserving peace and strengthening international security among others. The new proposal will target serious acts of corruption worldwide.
What are the next steps?
The new measures will have to be negotiated and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council before it can become EU law.
Do you think the new measures will combat corruption?