22nd Oct 2020


A letter to Jean-Claude Juncker

  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (Photo:

Dear President Juncker,

As investigative journalists, we believe in the critical role of the media in holding institutions to account, exposing corruption, and challenging threats to the social contract between states and citizens which are so critical to democracy.

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The ‘LuxLeaks’ scandal is a recent example of the kind of corrosive deals that big companies are able to extract from countries when they think no one will see.

Sweetheart deals, facilitated by accountants and law firms are depriving European member states and countries around the world of billions of Euros at a time when austerity is undermining the ability of governments to provide basic public services.

Investigative journalists seeking to challenge corruption rely on the courage of whistleblowers. But equally, we need access to timely information on how companies and trusts are used to funnel corrupt money through the European Financial System.

The EU Anti Money Laundering Directive offers an opportunity to ensure that information on the ownership of companies and trusts is available to the public, allowing journalists, NGOs and indeed anyone to monitor the links between suspected criminals and their use of these currently secretive legal structures.

On International Anti-Corruption Day, we call on you to ensure the EU champions this critical step in the fight against corruption, which undermines the rights of people in Europe and around the world and threatens the credibility and integrity of the European market.

Yours Sincerely,

Austin Agbonsurem: Director, Political Desk/AIT parliamentary Abuja Nigeria

Fabrice Arfi: Mediapart, France

Tamás Bodoky: Editor-in-chief,, Hungary

Simon Bowers: Senior Financial Reporter, The Guardian

Richard Brooks: Reporter, Private Eye magazine, UK

Stefaans Brümmer: M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane), South Africa

Santorri Chamley: Journalist, UK

Umar Cheema: Special Investigative Correspondent, The News, Islamabad and founder, Center for Investigative Reporting, Pakistan

Susan Comrie: Carte Blanche, South Africa

Osama Diab: Anti-corruption advocate and investigative journalist, Egypt

Abjata Khalif: Kenya Pastoralist Journalists Network, Kenya

Francis Kokutse: West Africa Correspondent for Indo Asian News Service. Columnist for The Finder and Weekend Sun, Ghana

Naomi Fowler: Taxcast, UK

John Grobler: Investigative Journalist, Namibia

Parwiz Kawa: Editor-in-Chief, Hasht e Subh Daily Newspaper, Afghanistan

David Masunda: The Mirror, Zimbabwe

Nick Mathiason: Illicit Finance Journalism Programme, UK

Emmanuel Mayah: Reporters 360, Nigeria

Jeff Mbanga: Business Editor, The Observer, Uganda

Craig McKune: M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, South Africa

Jeanne van der Merwe: Media 24, South Africa

Moses Michira: Investigative Reporter for the Standard Media in Nairobi, Kenya

Nadine Marroushi: Freelance Journalist, Egypt/UK

Patrick Mayoyo: Investigative Journalist, Kenya

Eric Mwamba: Wealth Magazine, Former president of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters, DRC

Edegbe Odemwingie

Senior Correspondent, Leadership Newspaper, Abuja, Nigeria

Rachel Oldroyd: Editor, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, UK

Sandeep Pai: Investigative Reporter, India

Philipus Parera: Managing Editor for Investigation Desk, Tempo Magazine, Indonesia

Tata Peklun: Radio Liberty and AntiCorruption Action Centre, Ukraine

Priti Patnaik: Financial Journalist, Switzerland/India

Juliana Ruhfus: Senior Presenter, Al Jazeera

Rana Sabbagh: Executive Editor, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism

Márton Sarkadi-Nagy: Investigative Reporter,, Hungary

Natalia Sedletskaya: SCHEMES TV pro, Radio Liberty Ukraine

Khadija Sharife: Coordinator African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting, South Africa

Nicholas Shaxson: Author and journalist, Berlin

Drew Sullivan - Editor: Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project Sarajevo/Bucharest/Tbilisi/Washington

Minh Thi Luong: Reporter, Vietnam

Bassey Udo: Business Editor, PREMIUM TIMES MEDIA, Nigeria

Laura Weffer: Investigative Journalist, Venezuela

Lara Whyte: Journalist, UK

Wong Joon Ian: Journalist, UK


The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

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