European Commission backs SP demand to tackle corruption

8 June 2011

European Commission backs SP demand to tackle corruption

Cecelia Malmström, European Commissioner for cooperation in matters of justice, yesterday promised to take on board and further develop anti-corruption proposals from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. Tomorrow, the Commissioner will discuss her proposals with Ministers of Justice from the EU member states. ‘Action at last,’ says De Jong. ‘Backed up by the SP’s proposal, which won support from every significant political group in the European Parliament, Commissioner Malmström assured us that she was committed to persuading the ministers to take concrete measures to combat corruption. Next month the European Parliament will debate further the approach to the problem of bringing to light and recovering the billions of euros in corrupt moneys.”

A month ago SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, with support from all of the European Parliament’s major political groups, made a number of proposals to Commissioner Malmström regarding the fight against corruption. On Monday the Commissioner presented her action plan, explicitly thanking De Jong for his advice. In today’s meeting with De Jong and a number of other MEPs, who had given their support to his proposals on behalf of their political groups, Malmström said that she ‘want(ed) to act together with the European Parliament in order to persuade the member states to be more active in their approach to combating corruption.’ In addition, she promised to look into the SP’s proposal for the establishment of ‘flying squads’ of anti-corruption police officers. The Commissioner also wants to see greater attention paid to the struggle against corruption in Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal in order to prevent corrupt politicians and business people from profiting from privatisation and from European financial aid.

“Action at last,” says De Jong, who describes himself as pleased by the Commissioner’s response. “And this is without any new EU legislation or laborious procedures. The financial investigators and flying squads would be a good back-up for the member states. The Commission’s urging of the member states which are failing to adhere to international agreements on combating corruption is therefore more than welcome. As estimates are that €120 billion is lost annually by the member states through corruption, this should be of great financial benefit all round.”

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