Corruption in the EU

The European Commission has recently published a Eurobarometer report on Corruption in the EU. The publication presents results of a survey carried out in the 27 EU Member States in September 2011.

The main aim of this research was to see how European citizens’ opinions about corruption have changed since 2009 when a similar survey was carried out. The questions asked during the survey focused on the European citizens’ perception of the extent of corruption in the EU, the levels of government (local, regional, national) facing the biggest problem with corruption, the correlation between corruption and business culture, and also their views about who should be responsible for fighting corruption.  

The main outcomes of the survey are the following:

  • The majority of respondents think that corruption is a major problem in their country (less positive than in 2009) and almost half think that corruption in their countries has increased in the last three years
  • Most respondents think that corruption exist at all levels – local, regional and national and 73% of them think that corruption takes place within the EU institutions
  • The majority of respondents think that there is an insufficient level of transparency and supervision of the financing of political parties
  • Two in three Europeans sees corruption as part of their country’s business culture
  • The institutions that Europeans are most likely to think have a responsibility for fighting corruption are national Government (63%) and judicial system (59%)

In the press release of 15 February presenting the report, the Commission highlighted its previous policy initiatives on fighting corruption. In more detail, in June 2011 an anti-corruption package was adopted calling for a stronger focus on corruption in all relevant EU policies. Since then, the Commission established a specific EU monitoring and assessment mechanism and will publish in 2013 the first EU Anti-Corruption Report, which will give an account of the state of play of anti-corruption efforts in EU Member.

To assist in the works on this report, the Commission established also a group of experts on corruption that advises the Commission on issues related to establishing indicators, assessing Member States’ performance, identifying best practice, proposing new measures. You can find the list of experts here:

http://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/crime/List_of_selected_experts-Group_of_Experts_on_corruption.pdf. You can also find the whole report here: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_374_en.pdf 

The Commission also plans to set up a network of research correspondence that will complete the work of the expert group by collecting and processing information at national level. The EU anti-corruption policy also includes proposals for legislation in the following areas: confiscation of criminals’ assets, the reform of public procurement rules, more advanced statistics on crime and an enhanced anti-fraud policy at the European level.

In DNV we believe in handling fraud and corruption before it happens. Few things have such a profound and detrimental impact on the reputation as fraud and corruption. Few companies have so sound practices that they can ignore risks related to unethical business behaviour.

However, there is a way to build a shield. We call it the corporate integrity profile. It delivers an independent assessment of how robust your business culture is and your ability to manage risks – and a road map for how to improve transparency and integrity. We help your organisation with risk mapping, preventive measures, code of conduct implementation, “Think-as-a-Thief” workshops, dilemma training, monitoring and compliance reporting.

It’s all about trust.

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