Fight against corruption demands action not words

9 December 2010

Fight against corruption demands action not words

On the International Day Against Corruption, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong issued a call for European action on the issue. ´Europe and the world as a whole are, according to Transparency International, becoming ever more corrupt. There has been enough talk. It’s now time for action. I have ten main points on which I’m working to combat corruption. Every moment of delay means profit for organised crime, which is advancing in Europe ever further.’ De Jong issued his call at a European Anti-Corruption Conference.

Dennis de JongCode of Conduct

De Jong is more than fed up with the feeble attitude of the European Commission. ‘All we’ve had up to now from Commissioner Malmström is the promise that there will be a report next year. That is of course nowhere near sufficient. I want to see concrete proposals.’ De Jong has long been active in the fight against corruption. While almost three-quarters of people in Europe say that corruption is on the increase, slightly more than that say that they have no confidence in the efforts of their political leaders to combat it. According to De Jong, we should begin by ‘setting a good example, which means strict rules of conduct for European politicians and officials, no strange gifts, no travel jollies paid for by corporations and no revolving door between business and the EU institutions if there is any danger of a conflict of interests.’


It’s also important to mobilise broad support: journalists and members of the public must be offered help in their struggle against corruption while whistle-blowers deserve better protection. De Jong also wants to see firms convicted of corruption excluded for a long period from public tendering procedures, and a blacklist of corrupt corporations made public. ´Naming and shaming is the only effective means. Fines are often not high enough to be effective.’
In De Jong’s view the member states are also to blame for their laxity. ‘Not all of them have signed up to the UN Treaty against Corruption, for instance, and there is too little exchange of information between national anti-corruption agencies. Member states should be fined if they don’t monitor European subsidies effectively and actual abuses should lead to exclusion from specified funds for a specified length of time.’

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