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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 3 February 2014

Summaries of the national chapters from the European Anti-Corruption Report

Austria:

Austria's fight against corruption has been strengthened by efforts in prevention and prosecution. In this report, the European Commission is suggesting that Austria ensures the necessary resources to specialised prosecutors for processing corruption cases. Furthermore, making access to bank account information easier, in cases of suspicion of corruption, would also make the prosecution of bribery more effective. The Commission also suggests that Austria introduces a monitoring mechanism for checking declarations of assets for elected and appointed senior officials.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 66 percent of Austrians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. The polls also show that Austria is the only country in Western Europe where a relatively large proportion – almost one-third of respondents – would find it acceptable to do a favour or give a gift in exchange for a public service. Four percent or Europeans, and 5 percent of Austrians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. Four out of ten European and Austrian companies consider corruption to be an obstacle for doing business.

Belgium:

Belgium has the necessary anti-corruption framework in place, but more can be done. Today, there is a risk that corruption in Belgium is not addressed in a consistent manner due to varying competences at regional and federal level. Thus, in this report, the European Commission is suggesting that ethical rules are implemented for all appointed and elected officials at federal, regional and local levels. Furthermore, Belgium should increase the capacity of the justice system and law enforcement to make sure that corruption cases are prosecuted before their time limits run out. The Commission also suggests that anticorruption legislation on party funding is extended to parties that do not receive federal subsidies.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 67 percent of Belgians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and 3 percent of Belgian people, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. Four out of ten European and Belgian companies consider corruption to be an obstacle for doing business.

Bulgaria:

Fighting corruption has long been a priority for Bulgaria, and legal reforms have resulted in the establishment of new structures. However, corruption remains widespread. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Bulgaria should shield anti-corruption institutions from political influence and appoint their management in a transparent, merit-based procedure. Random assignment of cases in courts should be ensured by an effective nationwide system. Also, the Commission is suggesting that a code of ethics is adopted for members of the National Assembly, and that dissuasive sanctions for corruption in public procurement are enforced at national and local level.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 84 percent or Bulgarians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and 11 percent of Bulgarians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. And only 9 percent of Bulgarians - the lowest percentage in the EU - consider that there are sufficient prosecutions to deter people from corrupt practices.

Cyprus:

Cyprus has demonstrated commitment to prevent corruption by amending legislation and establishing a coordinating body. At the same time, the small number of prosecuted cases indicates a need to strengthen the enforcement system. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Cyprus streamlines procedures to ensure effective investigations of corruption within the police. Codes of conduct for elected and appointed officials should also be introduced, in order to declare assets periodically. Furthermore, the Commission is suggesting that Cyprus restrains the possibility of state-owned companies to sponsor political events, regulates donations to election candidates, and obliges parties to publish financial information online.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. 57 percent of Cypriots, and 26 percent of Europeans overall, state that they are personally affected by corruption in their daily lives. Four percent of Europeans, and 3 percent of Cypriots, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. 83% of Cypriots - the highest percentage in the EU - say that the only way to succeed in business is through political connections. Furthermore, 85% of Cypriot entrepreneurs think that favouritism and corruption hamper business competition.

Croatia:

Croatia has made considerable efforts in recent years to improve its anti-corruption framework. However, there appears to be more emphasis on repression of corruption as opposed to prevention. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Croatia should develop codes of conduct for elected officials at central and local levels with adequate accountability tools, carry out substantial checks of asset declarations and conflicts of interests of public officials, and establish an effective mechanism for prevention of corruption in state-owned and state-controlled companies. Furthermore, the Commission is suggesting that Croatia implements a strategy for preventing corruption in public procurement, including with regard to the healthcare sector, and ensures protection mechanisms for whistleblowers who report corruption.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 94% of Croatians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and six percent of Croatians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. And 81% of Croatian businesses believe that favouritism and corruption hamper business competition in Croatia.

Czech Republic:

Over the last decade, a strategic framework for fighting corruption has been evolving in the Czech Republic. However, persistent problems relate to public procurement practices and the misuse of public funds. Attempts to put in place legislation covering conflicts of interest in the civil service have so far been unsuccessful. In this report, the European Commission suggests that such legislation be put in place, also covering merit-based recruitment and guarantees against arbitrary dismissal. The Commission is also suggesting that electoral campaign expenditures and donations are made public in annual financial reports, and to strengthen the ability of prosecutors to handle corruption cases in an independent manner.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 95 percent of Czechs, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. 8 percent of the Czechs say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, which is twice as much as the European average. 71 percent of Czech businesses, the highest percentage in the EU, state that corruption is a major obstacle for doing business.

Denmark:

Denmark is among the top EU performers in terms of transparency, integrity and control of corruption. Some room for improvement remains however, especially with regards to the financing of political parties and the framework for prosecuting corporations on grounds of bribery in foreign countries. In this report, the European Commission suggests to further improve the transparency and supervisory mechanisms of the financing of political parties and individual candidates. The Commission is also suggesting that further efforts are undertaken to fight foreign bribery, by, for example, raising the level of fines for corporations.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Amongst the Danes, that number is only 20 percent, and Denmark is consistently ranked among the least corrupt countries in the EU. Less than one percent of Danish citizens have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, compared to the EU average of four percent.

Estonia:

Corruption levels in Estonia in an international comparison can be considered to be low. However, the European Commission today suggests additional efforts to improve transparency and oversight of the financing of political parties, as well as of public procurement. The Commission is also suggesting that Estonia should adopt a code of conduct for Members of Parliament, accompanied by an efficient mechanism of supervision and sanctions.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 65 percent of Estonians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Estonians say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, the same number as the European average.

Finland:

So overall, Finland is one of the top performers in the EU as regards anti-corruption. However, there have been a few high-level corruption cases where favours were exchanged on the basis of informal relationships, and lobbying by businesses providing campaign financing to politicians. In this report, the European Commission therefore suggests that Finland obliges municipalities and regions to secure transparency in public contracts with private entrepreneurs. The Commission also suggests that the anti-corruption Unit of the National Bureau of Investigations should effectively support investigations of corruption-related crimes, and coordinate anti-corruption procedures between government agencies.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Approximately one in four Europeans, but only 9 percent of Finns, say that they are affected by corruption in their everyday lives. Four percent of Europeans, and less than one percent of Finns, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

France:

In France, legislative measures have recently been taken on the issue of conflicts of interests among politicians and public officials. However, corruption-related risks in the public procurement sector and in international business transactions have not been addressed. In this report, the European Commission therefore suggests that France should conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify risks at local level, and set priorities for anti-corruption measures related to public procurement. The Commission is also suggesting that France improves the legislation on foreign bribery, addresses the recommendations on party funding that have been raised by the Council of Europe, and makes efforts to increase the operational independence of prosecutors.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 68 percent of the French, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and two percent of the French, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. Four out of ten European companies consider corruption to be an obstacle for doing business. The number for France is higher - six out of ten French companies consider this an obstacle.

Germany:

When it comes to fighting corruption, Germany is amongst the best countries of the EU. However, more can be done. In this report, the European Commission points out that Germany would benefit from the introduction of strict penalties for corruption of elected officials. The Commission is also suggesting that Germany should develop a policy to deal with the 'revolving door' phenomenon, where officials leave office to work for companies they may have recently helped. Furthermore, increasing awareness of the risks of foreign bribery amongst small and medium sized enterprises would be helpful, and Germany could also do more to address concerns over the way election campaigns are financed.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Although few Germans have direct experience of bribery, four percent of Europeans overall say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. 9 percent of Germans say that they personally know someone who has taken bribes.

Greece:

The institutions fighting corruption in Greece are under the same pressure as much of Greece's public administration. Although there have been some positive steps, including the development of sectoral strategies and the appointment of a national anti-corruption coordinator, corruption poses considerable challenges in Greece. The anti-corruption framework remains complex and struggles to deliver results. In this report, the European Commission points out that public procurement remains a risk area, where greater oversight would be beneficial. More could also be done to carry out the sector-specific plans and to strengthen the work of the anti-corruption coordinator. Increasing supervision of party funding and declarations of interests by politicians, and revisiting the issue of immunity, would also contribute to a better situation in Greece.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Amongst Greeks, that number is 99 percent. Four percent of Europeans, and 7 percent of Greeks, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Hungary:

Hungary has in place a number of tools to increase integrity and transparency in public administration. Some ambitious anti-corruption policies have been developed. However, concerns remain, such as those related to informal relations between businesses and political actors at local level. The European Commission, in this report, points to a number of areas where further efforts can be made, notably when it comes to financing of political parties, and control mechanisms surrounding public procurement procedures and conflicts of interest among public officials. More efforts can be made to strengthen accountability standards for elected and appointed officials, and to deal with risks concerning favouritism in public administration. Further steps can also be taken to progressively eliminate the practice of gratitude payments in the healthcare sector.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 89 percent of Hungarians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and 13 percent of Hungarians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Ireland:

The Irish government has undertaken substantial reforms in its anti-corruption policies. It has improved transparency around party funding and taken steps to respond to public concern. However, more work could be done to improve the capacity to prosecute and punish corruption cases in a timely manner. Further work could also be required to address the few remaining concerns around the funding of political parties, election and referendum campaigns and corruption risks related to conflicts of interest at local level, as well as in the area of urban planning.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 81 percent of the Irish, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and three percent of Irish people, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Italy:

The adoption of the anti-corruption law in November 2012 represents a significant step forward in the fight against corruption in Italy: it highlights prevention policies aiming to raise the level of accountability within public administration and political elites and to balance the anti-corruption burden, which is currently falling almost exclusively on the law enforcement side. However, despite considerable efforts, corruption remains a serious challenge in Italy. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Italy should strengthen the integrity regime for elected officials through ethical codes, including accountability tools. Italy should also reinforce the legal and institutional framework on party funding. Furthermore, the deficiencies of the statute of limitation regime should be addressed without delay. The Commission is also suggesting that Italy reinforces the powers and capacity of the National Anti-Corruption Agency to perform a strong coordination role, enhances transparency around public procurement and takes further steps to address shortcomings regarding corruption in the private sector. More efforts are required with regard to conflicts of interest and asset disclosure of public officials, as well as control mechanisms around local and regional public spending.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 97 percent of Italians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Nearly 2 in 3 Europeans and 88 percent of Italian citizens believe that bribery and the use of connections is often the easiest way to obtain certain public services.

Latvia:

Latvia has made progress in preventing and addressing corruption, with a searchable online database of political donations. It is developing and refining its anti-corruption laws. This ongoing work is positive, but there are concerns remaining about the implementation of the legal framework. In this report, the European Commission suggests build on the achievements of the Bureau for combating and preventing corruption (KNAB) by strengthening its independence and protecting it from potential political interference. Furthermore, promoting e-procurement techniques and greater competition for public contracts would help address risks in public procurement. Also, Latvia can improve transparency of state-owned companies, and apply Parliament's Code of Ethics more rigorously.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 83 percent of Latvians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and 6 percent of Latvians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Lithuania:

Lithuania has already demonstrated commitment to prevent and combat corruption, through an extensive legal framework. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Lithuania should prioritise the prosecution of larger cases and develop prevention tools to detect corruption in procurement, focusing on the local level and the healthcare sector. The Commission also suggests that Lithuania should develop a strategy against informal payments in healthcare, and improve the control of declarations of conflicts of interest made by elected and appointed officials. The transparency of political party financing also requires additional efforts.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 95 percent of Lithuanians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. A full 29 percent of Lithuanian citizens have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year – the highest in the EU, where the overall average is 4 percent of citizens.

Luxembourg:

Luxembourg is perceived to be a country where petty corruption is not a problem and effective systems are in place to deter corruption in public services. However, the small and tight-knit nature of the business community, and the lack of rules on lobbying as well as access to information, raise the risk of conflicts of interest. Thus, in this report, the European Commission suggests that Luxembourg should clarify accounting obligations and political parties’ accounting duties, and introduce a supervisory mechanism for political campaign accounts. The Commission also suggests that Luxembourg improves the rules on conflicts of interests, and adopts legislation on access to public information. Resources used to combat financial and economic crime should be increased.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 42 percent of Luxembourgish citizens, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Only 1 percent of Luxembourgish citizens have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, while the European average is 4 percent.

Malta:

Malta has made the prevention of corruption one of its priorities, which has led to reforms aiming at greater transparency. However, certain issues still need to be addressed. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Malta reviews the financing of political parties, which remains largely unregulated. Coordination among the institutions investigating corruption should also be improved to ensure the effective collection of evidence. The Commission is also suggesting that continued efforts are undertaken to improve the transparency of judicial appointments, and of decision-making in environmental planning.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 83 percent of the Maltese, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. 53% of Maltese citizens say corruption is particularly widespread among officials issuing building permits. Approximately one in four Europeans and 29 percent of the Maltese consider that they are affected by corruption in their everyday lives.

The Netherlands:

The Netherlands' integrated approach to prevent and detect corruption could serve as a model elsewhere in the EU. However, political parties have only recently agreed new rules on the transparency of financing, and evidence that foreign bribery is tackled adequately is lacking. In today's report, the European Commission suggests that the categories of assets of elected officials that must be declared are extended. The Commission is also suggesting that the Netherlands should focus their efforts on prosecuting cases of corruption in international business transactions, by increasing the capacity to proactively investigate foreign bribery.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 61 percent of the Dutch, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and two percent of the Dutch, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Poland:

Poland has been implementing measures and fine-tuning policies against corruption, however a more strategic approach is necessary to ensure comprehensive solutions. Thus, in this report, the European Commission suggests implementing a long-term strategy against corruption, listing specific actions, the timeframe and resources for their implementation, and those responsible. Further reforms are needed to safeguard the transparency of public procurement and healthcare. The Commission also suggests that Poland should strengthen safeguards against potential politicisation of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA). Anti-corruption measures should be strengthened around the supervision of state-owned companies.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 82 percent of Poles, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. A full 15 percent of Poles, compared to four percent of Europeans overall, have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, mostly related to healthcare.

Portugal:

In Portugal, although various anti-corruption initiatives have been implemented over the last decade, including new legislation, there is no comprehensive national anti-corruption strategy in place. In addition, effective prosecution of high-level corruption cases remains a challenge. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Portugal ensures that law enforcement, prosecution and judiciary are well equipped to effectively deal with complex corruption cases, and establishes a convincing track record of corruption cases. Further preventive action against corrupt practices in party funding should be undertaken, and codes of conduct for elected officials should be developed. The Commission is also suggesting that further efforts need to be made to adequately address conflicts of interests and asset disclosure of officials at local levels. Transparency and control mechanisms around public procurement procedures should be strengthened further. Moreover, Portugal should identify risk factors for corruption in local urban planning decisions.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 90 percent of the Portuguese, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Portugal scores better than the EU average, however, when citizens are asked whether they have direct experience of corruption – fewer than one percent of the Portuguese say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, while the European average is 4 percent. 36 percent of Portuguese citizens consider that they are affected by corruption in their everyday lives.

Romania:

In Romania, both petty and political corruption remains a significant problem. Although some positive results have been observed when it comes to prosecution of high level corruption cases, political will to address corruption and promote high standards of integrity has been inconsistent. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Romania ensures that all necessary guarantees remain in place to safeguard the independence and continuation of non-partisan investigations into high-level corruption cases, including with regard to elected and appointed officials. The Commission also suggests that Romania develops comprehensive codes of conduct for elected officials and that dissuasive sanctions for corrupt practices are ensured. Strengthening of prevention and control mechanisms with regard to public procurement and public contracts is also suggested, including in state-owned and state-controlled companies. Furthermore, the Commission suggests increasing the efficiency of prevention and detection of conflicts of interest among public officials, as well as strengthening safeguards when it comes to allocation of public funding, and carrying out strategies to reduce corruption in healthcare.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 93 percent of Romanians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. 25 percent of Romanians, the second highest percentage in the EU, have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, compared to the EU average of 4 percent.

Slovakia:

Slovakia has made considerable efforts to improve the legal anti-corruption framework for criminal law and public procurement. However, several factors limit the effectiveness of anti-corruption work; problems with legislation, the perceived lack of independence of parts of the judiciary, and close ties between the political and business elite. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Slovakia should strengthen the independence of the judiciary, in particular by specifying criteria for when presidents and vice-presidents of courts can be removed from office. The Commission is also suggesting to increase transparency of party funding at local and regional levels. When it comes to misuse of EU Funds, the Commission recommends strengthening control mechanisms to prevent conflicts of interest.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 90 percent of Slovakian citizens, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. 8 percent of Europeans, and 21 percent of Slovaks, have experienced or witnessed a case of corruption in the past year. In Slovakia, 66 percent of business representatives consider corruption as a problem for doing business.

Slovenia:

Slovenia has been among the most active of the Central and Eastern European states in the fight against corruption, with a well-developed legal and institutional anti-corruption framework. However, recent years appear to have seen a decline in the political drive against corruption, amidst allegations and doubts about the integrity of high-level officials. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Slovenia should apply dissuasive penalties to elected and appointed officials for when requirements to disclose assets and conflicts of interests are breached and take further steps to strengthen accountability standards for elected officials. The Commission is also suggesting that Slovenia should safeguard the operational independence and resources of anti-corruption bodies and prosecution services specialized in combating financial crime . Slovenia should also strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms concerning state-owned and state–controlled companies, as well as around public procurement and privatisation procedures. More efforts can be made to ensure effective supervision of party funding.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 91 percent of Slovenians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and three percent of the Slovenians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Spain:

Although an anti-corruption legal framework is largely in place in Spain and law enforcement has shown good results in investigating corrupt practices, today's report does show a certain number of deficiencies. Particularly challenging is political corruption and deficient checks and balances, notably in public spending and control mechanisms at regional and local levels. In this report, the European Commission suggests that tailor-made anti-corruption strategies for regional and local levels administrations are developed, that on-going reforms and implementation of the new rules on party funding is pursued, and that comprehensive codes of conduct for elected officials with adequate accountability tools are developed. The Commission is also suggesting that irregularities in public procurement procedures at regional and local levels should be addressed further.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of Europeans, and a full 95 percent of Spanish citizens, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Approximately one in four Europeans considers that they are affected by corruption in their everyday lives. In Spain, that number is 63 percent, the highest percentage in the EU. Four percent of Europeans, and 2 percent of Spanish citizens, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Sweden:

Sweden is among the least corrupt countries in the EU. It has taken an ambitious role in fighting corruption, and several anti-corruption initiatives have been carried out. However, a few areas of concern remain, such as corruption risks in municipalities and counties, as well as gaps in the Swedish framework for prosecuting Swedish corporations on grounds of bribery in foreign countries. In this report, the European Commission suggests that municipalities and county councils should be obliged to secure transparency in public contracts with private entrepreneurs. The Commission also suggests that the level of fines for corporations committing foreign bribery should be raised, and that liability should be triggered even if the crime has been committed by intermediaries or third-party agents. Sweden should also consider reviewing the provision of dual criminality, whereby an offence has to be a crime under the law of the country in which it has allegedly been committed. Sweden can also improve the transparency of financing of political parties further, by considering a general ban on donations from donors whose identity is not known.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. Four percent of Europeans say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, but in Sweden, that number is significantly lower (less than one percent). However, as many as 18% of Swedes say that they personally know someone who takes or has taken a bribe, which is higher than the EU average (12 percent).

United Kingdom:

In the United Kingdom, petty corruption does not appear to pose a challenge. Moreover, the UK has made strides in encouraging its companies to refrain from bribing officials abroad, through stringent legislation and detailed guidelines. Traditionally, the UK promotes high ethical standards of public service. However, to ensure continued success, further efforts are necessary to address risks of foreign bribery in vulnerable industries such as defence. In this report, the European Commission suggests that the UK should ensure transparency in out-of-court settlements in corruption cases. Accountability in the governance of banks can also be further strengthened. The Commission is also suggesting to cap donations to political parties, impose limits on electoral campaign spending and ensure proactive monitoring and prosecution of potential violations.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and 64 percent of UK respondents, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Approximately one in four Europeans considers that they are affected by corruption in their everyday lives. In the UK, this figure is well below the EU average, 16 percent.

Useful Links

Press release: IP/14/86

EU Anti-Corruption report including country chapters, Eurobarometer surveys, factsheets and questions and answers: ec.europa.eu/anti-corruption-report

Cecilia Malmström's website

Follow Commissioner Malmström on Twitter

DG Home Affairs website

Follow DG Home Affairs on Twitter


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