De Jong slams failing EU approach to corruption

5 December 2012

De Jong slams failing EU approach to corruption

Dennis de Jong

The EU takes growing corruption in EU countries affected by the economic crisis ‘far from seriously enough’. This is the conclusion drawn by SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong on the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day. ‘In Greece corruption is on the rise,’ says De Jong. ‘The EU’s approach merely makes matters worse. There is a glaring shortage of financial investigators and judges. Their posts and their salaries are once again under pressure as a result of the EU’s austerity programme. The consequences can be guessed at – more corruption and less chance of being caught. If the Commission really wants to combat corruption, billions will be needed. There’s a lack of financial underpinning.’

Corruption watchdog Transparency International’s annual corruption perception index shows that perception of corruption in Greece is growing. Greece stands 94th in the index, is the worst in the EU and is seen as more corrupt than China and equal to both Colombia and India.

Earlier in the year, the European Parliament established a special temporary committee on the fight against corruption. This week Dennis de Jong presented his proposals for tackling firms which bribe government officials, proposals which can count on broad support in the EP. ‘In relation to this issue as well the Commission has in large part failed,’ says De Jong.’ It’s clear that most member states don’t prosecute those who bribe officials in other countries and that there is an urgent need for EU Directives to address the matter. Yet from the Commission all we get is the promise that they will produce a report next year. This lax attitude is damaging to the fight against corruption and is undermining the credibility of the Commission in relation to this battle.'

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