De Jong demands action on corrupt firms in EU

1 December 2011

De Jong demands action on corrupt firms in EU

A report from Transparency International (TI) published today reveals that the incidence of corruption is rising throughout the EU. In its report the anti-corruption watchdog draws a direct link between corruption and the Eurocrisis. According to TI corruption is both a cause of the crisis and a barrier to any solution. ‘This worrying development calls for immediate action,’ says SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong. ‘That’s why I’m going to Transparency International’s annual conference with new proposals to address bribery of foreign state officials by European corporations.’

Last year a number of corporations registered in the Netherlands were in the news for their involvement in bribery scandals abroad. De Jong is highly critical of the fact that the Dutch government chose not to pursue criminal prosecutions against these firms. “If the government continues to refuse to prosecute Dutch firms for corruption,” he points out, “this gives them a competitive advantage on the European internal market, so the EU will have to take action.”

TI statistics show that all but three EU member states have become measurably more corrupt in the last year. Italy and Greece face major problems emerging from the Eurocrisis, TI argues, as a result of corruption. Earlier this year De Jong presented an action plan against corruption, proposing amongst other measures that European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström be given special responsibility for the fight against corruption in the weaker Eurozone countries.

TI’s annual conference – ‘Tackling Corruption Across the EU - Principles into practice’ – is to be held in Brussels on 7th December, two days before the International Day Against Corruption, and is the most important European gathering concerned with the issue.

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