What does it take to clean up a corrupt state? Corruption continues to be a challenge for Europe – a phenomenon that costs the European economy around 120 billion euros per year. EU member countries have taken many initiatives in recent years, but the results are uneven and more should be done to prevent and punish corruption.
Europeans are deeply worried about corruption – Eurobarometer survey results show that three quarters (76%) of Europeans think that it is widespread and more than half (56%) think that the level of corruption in their country has increased over the past three years. In one of the European Union’s most corrupt countries a prosecutor has taken on the establishment, convicting over 1,000 Romanian officials.
Can you really fight corruption in EU?
Corruption is the abuse of power for private gain. It takes many forms, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, but can also hide behind nepotism, conflicts of interest, or revolving doors between the public and the private sectors. Its effects are serious and widespread. Corruption constitutes a threat to security, as an enabler for crime and terrorism.
It acts as a drag on economic growth, by creating business uncertainty, slowing processes, and imposing additional costs. Although the nature and scope of corruption may differ from one EU State to another, it harms the EU as a whole by lowering investment levels, hampering the fair operation of the Internal Market and reducing public finances.
37% of EU businesses consider corruption to be a problem for them when doing business. 60% agree with the statement that bribery and the use of connections is often the easiest way to obtain certain public services.
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