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Ombudsman: 'Now the hard work begins'

01.10.14 @ 18:58

Emily O'Reilly marked her first year in office as the European Union's Ombudsman on Wednesday (1 October) but her gloves are only coming off now. The Irish woman has launched more investigations than any of her ...

FeatureThe changing face of Europe's mafia

26.08.14 @ 17:40

The landscape of European organised crime is “completely changing”, dominated by groups that are “more powerful and flexible but smaller in terms of organisation”. So says Ernesto Savona, a professor of criminology and ...

Administrative blunder sees MEP walk free from corruption probe

25.06.14 @ 09:24

A lost file in the European Parliament has allowed a Romanian MEP suspected of corruption to leave the assembly without any inquiry. Romanian prosecutors in December asked EP president Martin Schulz to waiver the ...

Complex rules make EU vulnerable to corruption, says report

24.04.14 @ 10:56

Complacency and complex rules makes the EU's own institutions vulnerable to corruption and conflicts of interest, a report by a leading transparency NGO has found. The 250-page 'European Union Integrity System', ...

Political corruption seen as 'major problem' by most Europeans

26.03.14 @ 09:45

Three quarters of Europeans think corruption is a "major or widespread" problem in their political institutions, according to research published Tuesday (25 March). The countries worst hit by the European economic ...

Italian mob has €200bn annual budget

25.03.14 @ 19:08

The annual budget of organised crime in Italy is bigger than that of the EU, with most of the money spent outside Italy, the country's foreign ministry says. “Organised crime has an annual budget of more than €200 ...

EU ombudsman calls for independent watchdog on 'revolving doors'

19.03.14 @ 10:11

Decisions on whether EU officials taking lobbying jobs dealing with issues they had previously worked on could in future be made by a new independent body, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly told MEPs on Tuesday (18 ...

EU has 'no corruption-free zone'

03.02.14 @ 19:51

Corruption across the EU bloc is costing taxpayers billions, as member states fail to tackle the problem head on, according to the European Commission. The Brussels executive on Monday (3 February) published its first ...

EU-wide corruption report drops chapter on EU institutions

31.01.14 @ 17:00

The European Commission has decided not to include a chapter on EU institutions in a report on corruption in member states due out next week. The original plan, announced in 2011, was to assess corruption across the ...

EU-funded project in Italy suspected of mafia links

22.01.14 @ 09:26

Three NGOs on Wednesday (22 January) filed an official complaint with the EU anti-fraud office, Olaf, demanding an investigation into an EU-sponsored motorway in Italy, where construction firms are suspected of fraud ...

OpinionThe ‘grand theory’ and the corruption scandal in Turkey

07.01.14 @ 11:16

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has survived numerous coup attempts and narrowly escaped a court verdict that would ban his governing party in 2008, is now facing the most serious crisis his single ...

Romanian MPs decriminalise political corruption

11.12.13 @ 09:05

The Romanian parliament on Tuesday (10 December) exempted top politicians and lawyers from corruption crimes, in a move which flies in the face of agreements with the EU. The snap amendments, voted without parliamentary ...

Fresh corruption scandal engulfs Deutsche Bank

10.12.13 @ 09:29

US authorities are investigating Deutsche Bank, along with other multi-national banking behemoths like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Citi, on suspicion of using corrupt practices in China in order to acquire contracts ...

Denmark seen as least corrupt EU country

03.12.13 @ 09:29

Denmark is perceived as the least corrupt country in the EU, while Greece is seen as the most corrupt. The Berlin-based NGO, Transparency International (TI), on Tuesday (3 December) published its 2013 corruption ...

EU prosecutor likely to expand powers

28.11.13 @ 17:20

A top EU official on Thursday (28 November) said the future EU-wide public prosecutor may expand into other domains aside from combatting fraud. “If this EPPO [European Public Prosecutor Office] starts working well, [it ...

EU bank transparency rules delayed

16.11.13 @ 09:55

Finance ministers on Friday (15 November) failed to reach a political agreement to impose greater bank transparency rules. Both Luxembourg and Austria opposed the measure, which would allow governments to collect ...

National MPs protest EU public prosecutor idea

01.11.13 @ 11:34

National parliaments opposed to creating an EU-wide prosecutor want the European Commission to rework its flagship proposal, but EU officials say it is likely to go ahead. Chambers in 11 national parliaments got enough ...

OpinionEurope can set the standard on anti-money laundering

29.10.13 @ 14:36

Money launderers, corrupt politicians, tax dodgers and traffickers of all sorts rely on the same things to move their ill-gotten gains. They need legal structures that allow them to hide their identity. This often ...

EU-wide whistleblower protection law rejected

23.10.13 @ 18:09

The European Commission has rejected a request by MEPs to introduce EU whistleblower protection laws before the end of year. Deputies in Strasbourg voted through a crime report on Wednesday (23 October) to ensure, among ...

Up to €2.2bn of public funds stolen in eight EU states

01.10.13 @ 17:14

Up to €2.2 billion was stolen in public and EU funds in eight member states in 2010, according to a report commissioned by the EU anti-fraud agency Olaf. The figures, released on Tuesday (1 October) at a European ...

EU commission backs Bulgaria anti-corruption protests

23.07.13 @ 23:02

The European Commission Tuesday (23 July) voiced support for the daily anti-corruption protests that have rattled Bulgaria over recent weeks. EU commissioner for justice Viviane Reding at a Citizens’ Dialogue event in ...

EU-wide prosecutor to launch own criminal investigations

17.07.13 @ 17:47

The European commission published plans on Wednesday (17 July) for a European Public Prosecutor (EPPO) as part of efforts to clamp down on fraud committed against the EU budget. “The European Commission is delivering on ...

AgendaEU to propose public prosecutor this WEEK

12.07.13 @ 18:14

The European Commission will outline its plans for a European Public Prosecutor's Office next week. EU commissioner for justice Viviane Reding, along with EU tax and anti-fraud commissioner Aldiras Semeta, will present ...

InvestigationEuropol joins hunt on EU-Russia money laundering

25.06.13 @ 17:11

The EU's joint police body, Europol, is hunting Russian mafia money laundered in EU banks. The operation was revealed in a report by an investigator in the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, Swiss MP Andreas Gross, out ...

G8 tax deal falls short of expectations

19.06.13 @ 10:09

The G8 summit in Northern Ireland concluded with mixed results, as leaders pledged to clamp down on tax dodgers and to improve corporate transparency but did not agree to put in place binding rules. A G8 communique on ...

OpinionCzech Watergate: All the Prime Minister’s women

17.06.13 @ 09:31

A political earthquake struck the Czech republic on Thursday night (13 June) directly after Prime Minister Petr Necas' cabinet meeting. Following raids on government and company offices across the country, police ...

InvestigationRussian officials: Banned by the US, on holiday in the EU

10.06.13 @ 09:26

Russian officials banned from entering the US on accusations of corruption and conspiracy to murder are frequent visitors in EU cities, leaked information shows. Pavel Karpov, a senior investigator in the Russian ...

OpinionEU should act on political abuse of Interpol

24.05.13 @ 09:01

Last week, British businessman Bill Browder spoke at the Oslo Freedom Forum about his successful campaign to have the US legislature impose asset freezes and travel bans on Russian officials connected to the death of ...

Cyprus gets €2bn despite money laundering concerns

14.05.13 @ 00:02

The EU on Monday (13 May) said many Cypriot banks do not know who their customers really are, but wired Nicosia €2 billion anyway. Commenting on a recent study on money laundering in the Mediterranean island, eurozone ...

Survey: Croatia and Slovenia most corrupt in EU

08.05.13 @ 09:28

Croatia, about to enter the EU, is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe according to a new survey. But Slovenia - an EU and eurozone member - is even worse. The findings come in an annual report on corporate ...

EU anti-fraud office in 'open hostility' with independence panel

18.04.13 @ 16:56

The EU's internal fraud office, Olaf, has had a "significant breakdown" in relations with its supervisory committee - a panel designed to ensure the fraud investigators are working independently of external pressure. ...

EU seeks more corporate transparency

17.04.13 @ 09:24

EU companies will be required to publish information ranging from anti-corruption and bribery measures to their boardroom policies and employment practices, under new legislation unveiled by the European Commission on ...

French leader promises anti-tax-cheat crusade

11.04.13 @ 09:28

French leader Francois Hollande has promised to "eradicate" tax havens in the EU and in the wider world, after his approval rating fell to 26 percent following a tax evasion scandal. Speaking on national TV on Wednesday ...

EU warns Croatia on corruption, human trafficking

27.03.13 @ 10:16

With just three months left before Croatia joins the EU, the European Commission has urged it to do more to fight corruption and human trafficking. The commission's 15-page report, published on Tuesday (26 March) notes ...

FeatureEU audit on Cyprus money laundering - whitewash in the making?

26.03.13 @ 09:25

Auditors on an EU-sponsored mission to see if Cypriot banks launder money for Russian criminals began work last Wednesday (20 March). The project has slipped out of view amid dramatic talks on Cyprus' new bailout. But ...

InterviewExperts question EU money laundering probe on Cyprus

19.03.13 @ 09:28

As anti-money-laundering auditors begin work in Cyprus, some experts, such as the head of European operations for US due-diligence firm Kroll, are questioning the value of the exercise. EU lenders want it to shed light ...

€120 billion lost to corruption in EU each year

06.03.13 @ 09:25

An estimated €120 billion is lost to corruption each year throughout the 27 member states, the EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom has said. “In public procurement, studies suggest that up to 20 to 25 ...

InvestigationEUobserver investigative reports

22.02.13 @ 09:34

"The Magnitsky Affair" is the latest in a series of EUobserver investigative reports. It looks at what the EU is really willing to do to confront Russian human rights abuses on its doorstep.

InvestigationEU countries launch joint probe into Magnitsky affair

22.02.13 @ 09:27

Financial sleuths from six EU countries are joining forces to see if millions of euros of Russian mafia money was laundered through their banks. The move comes after the European Commission introduced a request for a ...

InvestigationTime is ripe for EU to hold Russia to account

22.02.13 @ 09:26

Despite what the Kremlin says, Russia is not threatened by so-called Western values. Nor is it threatened by the European Parliament, the US state department, by what Russia likes to call "unnamed foreign powers," by ...

InvestigationThe Magnitsky Affair

22.02.13 @ 09:21

EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy has called the murder in 2009 of Russian anti-corruption activist Sergei Magnitsky "emblematic" of all that is wrong in modern Russia. But why are EU diplomats unwilling to react with ...

Human trafficking is 'modern day slavery'

19.02.13 @ 22:01

Human trafficking is the slavery of our times with the victims a tiny cog in a corruption machine that involves highly-organised criminal gangs working across several member states, say experts. Addressing a special ...

Moldova takes action on EU-Russia money laundering

07.02.13 @ 18:32

Moldova has launched criminal proceedings in a money laundering case involving its biggest bank, the Russian mafia and six EU countries. The move comes after a UK-based investment firm, Hermitage Capital, filed a ...

EU proposes €5mn fines for money laundering

06.02.13 @ 09:14

Individual staff should be fined up to €5 million and firms, such as banks, should be fined 10 percent of turnover if they flout anti-money-laundering rules, the European Commission has proposed. It put out its latest ...

EU police agency uncovers football-fixing ring

05.02.13 @ 09:31

A "sophisticated organised crime operation" stretching all the way to Asia bribed officials and rigged over 380 football matches in Europe, generating some €8 million in profit, EU's police agency (Europol) has ...

InvestigationEU: Magnitsky acquittal will harm Russia's reputation

03.01.13 @ 09:22

Russia's acquittal of the only man charged over the death of Sergei Magnitsky will harm its international reputation, the EU has said. Magnitsky, an accountant who in 2007 exposed the fact that Russian officials and the ...

Corruption seen as pervasive in crisis-hit EU states

05.12.12 @ 09:18

A leading pro-transparency group has said that EU countries the worst affected by the crisis are perceived as being among the most corrupt. Berlin-based Transparency International, which released its annual corruption ...

Cyprus expects EU bailout deal in next 10 days

08.11.12 @ 17:57

With Greece (twice), Ireland , Portugal and Spain (its banks) already on the list, Cyprus expects to clinch an EU bailout of up to €15 billion next week. Negotiations on details of the rescue start in Nicosia on Friday ...

MEPs unhappy with commission secrecy on Dalli affair

08.11.12 @ 09:26

MEPs are refusing to take No for an answer from the European Commission on access to a report on John Dalli. German Liberal MEP Michael Theurer, the head of the budget control committee, told EUobserver on Wednesday (7 ...

OpinionSelf-regulation not an option for EU lobbying

29.10.12 @ 09:17

Two weeks after ex-health-commissioner John Dalli's resignation in what has become known as "Dalligate" - a scandal described by public health campaigners as the biggest interference of the tobacco lobby in European ...