Corruption: EU member states come under pressure from Commission and Parliament

18 May 2011

Corruption: EU member states come under pressure from Commission and Parliament

The European Commission has assured the SP that it will be working much more closely with the European Parliament to put an end to corrupt practices in the member states.

Commenting on the Commission’s undertaking, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong says ‘As things stand many member states are extremely lackadaisical - it’s time for a much more active anti-corruption policy.’ This was what prompted him yesterday to hand a ´Call for Action against Corruption´ to European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. His call was supported by Euro-MPs from every significant political group in the European Parliament.

During the meeting with Malmström , recent news over alleged bribery practices by Dutch multinational Philips in Poland was also discussed. “It’s very odd that the Netherlands, where so many international corporations have their headquarters, has never once convicted a firm of bribing foreign officials, while Dutch corporations have indeed been accused of just that in other parts of the world, as happened recently to Shell in the United States. So it would be no bad thing if the government were to come under pressure from the Commission to be rather more thorough in its approach to this sort of thing. The current situation is that the Commission may not intervene in individual cases, but they will shortly be coming forward with plans for intensive monitoring of the fight against corruption. I’ve agreed with the Commissioner that, together with a group of like-minded MEPs, I will be gathering as much factual information as possible which will then be passed to the Commission and used in the monitoring process.”

De Jong launched his Call for Action at the end of last year. Since then more and more Euro-MPs have signalled their support. “I’m extremely pleased that the centre-right group, the European People’s Party, have stated as a group that they support the initiative,” says De Jong. “This gives the document more weight. “ The Commission’s proposals and the ideas of MEPs will both be detailed during a special press briefing in Strasbourg on June 8th.

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