Press Release - Transparency International EU Office

Berlin, 3 February 2014 – EU countries need to do more to prevent corruption and
restore trust in government, Transparency International (TI) said today after the
European Commission’s first ever EU-wide Anti-Corruption Report identified serious
shortcomings in the national efforts of EU Member States.
The report identified systematic failures to address conflicts of interest between
politicians and business, particularly in party financing, public contracting and
revolving doors between government and industry. No country gets a clean bill of
“Trust in Europe’s leaders is falling because relations between business and the
public sector take place in the dark, leaving citizens with questions about whose
interests are being taken care of”, said Miklos Marschall, Deputy Managing Director
of Transparency International. “To bridge the gap between politics and people, there
must be greater transparency in public life and more public officials held to account
for their actions.”
EU ministers need to follow up with concrete commitments when they meet for the
Justice & Home Affairs Council in Brussels in March, Transparency International said.
“Corruption crosses borders and is a threat to the integrity of the single market”,
said Carl Dolan, Director of the Transparency International EU Office. “For these
reasons, Europe needs coordinated action to tackle the failings identified in the
report, such as EU legislation on whistleblower protection”.
The report assesses all 28 EU Member States’ efforts to prevent corruption in the
public sector. Its publication has been dogged by delays, having been first scheduled
for release in June 2013. The report however fails to issue detailed
recommendations in the area of whistleblowing, access to information and lobbying.
“We welcome this report as an important step in the EU's collective effort to scale
up its anti-corruption efforts,” said Marschall. “It is a stark warning against
complacency about corruption in any EU country.”
Together with TI’s 2012 study of the anti-corruption efforts of 25 EU Member States,
the Report confirms a picture of systemic corruption risks in such areas as the
awarding of public contracts, foreign bribery, parliamentary ethics and political party
2013 was also the year of major corruption scandals that have erupted across the
EU. France, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Spain experienced well-documented
cases of high-level corruption, ranging from fraud and money-laundering allegations
of high-level politicians to large-scale trans-national corruption cases and of abuse of
party finances.
Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against
Note to editors:
Three out of four EU citizens still see corruption as a major problem in their country,
according to European Union surveys, and almost half of all Europeans believe that
the level of corruption in their countries has increased in the last three years – a
proportion that was consistent across older and newer member states.
In June 2012, Transparency International issued a report analysing over 300
institutions in 25 countries detailing widespread corruption risks in Europe. See more
For more background information on the EU Anti-Corruption Report developments
from the last years:
TI-EU Office
E. [email protected]
T. +32 (0)2 23 58 621
Ronny Patz
E. [email protected]
T. +32 (0)2 23 58 640
Janina Berg
EU Justice & Home Affairs
E. [email protected]
T. +32 (0)2 23 58 646
For national correspondents, interviews can also be arranged with our National
Chapters in EU member states.