Tuesday

10th Dec 2019

EU-wide corruption report drops chapter on EU institutions

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 member states and within the EU institutions.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The commission estimates EU-wide corruption costs the tax payer some €120 billion annually (Photo: h.koppdelaney)

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is set to release the first bi-annual report on Monday (3 February), around six months later than originally planned.

Malmstrom’s spokesperson Michael Cercone told this website in an email that the commission had considered assessing the anti-corruption efforts of the EU’s own institutions but “realised that this is something we will have to come back to in a future EU anti-corruption report – to be sure that the evaluation would be satisfactory and objective.”

He noted that it would it be difficult to provide an objective self-evaluation because, unlike for member states, there are no independent external reviews the commission could draw on to evaluate its own institutions.

“Nor do we have a lot of academic research on anti-corruption measures within the EU institutions,” he said.

Malmstrom, for her part, in a speech delivered in March 2013 noted that corruption within the EU institutions was also a problem that needed to be taken seriously.

But a follow-up conference on the future anti-corruption report on member states last December made no mention of the previously announced EU institution probes.

Instead, Cercone said they are working on getting the EU signed up to the Council of Europe's Group of States Against Corruption (Greco), which “should lead eventually to external evaluation of EU institutions.”

“Those reviews would make it much easier to have an assessment of EU institutions in future EU anti-corruption reports,” he added.

A contact at the Council of Europe said how those evaluations would be carried out and on which areas at the institutions is unknown.

The institutions are currently carrying out internal evaluations on how they would interact with Greco once they sign up.

“I don’t know what is going on there right now, the ball is clearly with the European Commission,” said the contact.

Commission expert groups and a 2012 EU-wide corruption risk report by Transparency International (TI) contributed to the wider 28-member state report.

The commission’s expert advisory group on corruption reviewed sections on some of the country specific chapters. But it did not see a draft on the EU institutions.

“It was certainly originally envisaged when the idea was set up that there would be one on the EU institutions and I certainly think it would be a good idea to have it,” one of the experts on the advisory group told this website.

Meanwhile, TI in a report earlier this month found that the Brussels executive has a poor record on banning corrupt companies that abuse EU funds.

It noted that in recent years the commission has banned only one company across all its spending programmes.

“The commission blacklisting system is not working. That may be understatement. It appears to be completely toothless,” notes TI’s website, which is soon set to issue its own assessment on the risk of corruption in the EU institutions.

EU has 'no corruption-free zone'

Corruption across the EU bloc is costing taxpayers billions as member states fail to tackle the problem head on, according to the European Commission.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

News in Brief

  1. Orban wants bill to tighten grip over theatres
  2. Dutch reduce terror threat level for first time since 2013
  3. Russia banned from Olympics over doping scandal
  4. EU agrees future human rights sanctions
  5. Greens demand Zahradil conflict of interest probe
  6. EU commission to 'correct mistake' on enlargement
  7. Luxembourg pushes EU to recognise Palestine
  8. Minister: 'All Brussels kids should be trilingual at 18'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  2. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  3. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us