“Frying big fish insufficient to tackle EU corruption,” anti-corruption NGO says

Root and branch structural reform called for

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International has welcomed the resignation of the EU Commission but has called for a sweeping review of the European Union's anti-corruption system. "The EU as well as the IOC corruption scandals show that the issue of corruption has finally aroused European public indignation," said the chairman of the international anti-corruption organisation, Dr Peter Eigen.

Corruption can no longer be viewed as being simply a problem of the South and East, and which has long been fuelled by the activities of Western European exporters but is a problem, too, at the very heart of Western Europe. "Having systematically fed the monster for generations, Europe is now falling victim to it," Eigen said.

The EU Commission has correctly insisted that the candidates for EU membership effectively tackle their own corruption problem. For this request to be credible, the EU must ask itself whether its own integrity system is sound and viable.

"Frying 'big fish' is a necessary start, but is only a beginning," Eigen said. "The real challenge is to focus on the structural issues which gave rise to the present scandals. We must now tackle a root and branch overhaul of the EU's structures so as to render an increasingly powerful and influential Commission fully transparent and accountable to the elected parliament, which alone has the legitimacy of being directly elected by the people. The European Parliament must be strengthened as the guardian of transparency and accountability and there must be an ethos of openness and freedom of information," he continued.

"The introduction of legally binding codes of conduct for EU Commissioners and the establishment of a whistleblower protection system are absolutely indispensable," said Eigen. He cited the case of Paul van Buitenen, whose revelations of mismanagement and corruption had helped trigger the recent scandal. Eigen called for a full investigation into the propriety of disciplining a civil servant who so clearly acted in the public interest.

"Any public institution that fails to protect those civil servants who in good faith and for just cause promote the public interest ultimately fails to protect itself and so has to weather the storm," he concluded.

For any press enquiries please contact

Mr. Jeremy Pope,
Executive Director,
E-Mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mr. Jeff Lovitt,
Head of Public Relations,
Tel. 49-30-343 82 00, Fax 49-30-3470 3912,
E-Mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Support Transparency International

The alarming message of Egypt’s constitutional amendments

Parliamentarians in Egypt look set to approve a series of constitutional amendments this week that, if passed, would consolidate power in the office of the president, while restoring the military as the ultimate authority in the country.

Восточная Европа и Центральная Азия: слабая система сдержек и противовесов

Индекс восприятия коррупции (ИВК) за этот год представляет печальную картину касательно мер по борьбе с коррупцией в Восточной Европе и Центральной Азии. За несколько лет в этом регионе был достигнут очень незначительный прогресс в борьбе с коррупцией.

الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا: انتشار الفساد في ظل ضعف المؤسسات وتراجع الحقوق السياسية

كشف مؤشر مدركات الفساد 2018 عن صورة قاتمة لواقع الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا حيث أن معظم بلدان المنطقة قد أخفقت في مكافحة الفساد على الرغم من أن قلة قليلة من البلدان قد أحرزت تقدما تدريجيا.

Afrique subsaharienne:Les régimes non démocratiques sapent les efforts de lutte contre la corruption

L’Indice de perception de la corruption (IPC) présente cette année un tableau bien sombre de l’Afrique : seuls 8 pays sur 49 obtiennent un score supérieur à 43 sur les 100 points que compte l’Indice. Malgré l’engagement pris par les dirigeants africains de faire de 2018 l’Année africaine de lutte contre la corruption, les avancées concrètes se font encore attendre.

Trouble at the top: why high-scoring countries aren’t corruption-free

For the third year running, the top seven countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 consist of the four Nordic nations – Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway – plus New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland. Yet that doesn’t mean that these countries are corruption-free.

Americas: el debilitamiento de la democracia y el auge del populismo

Con una puntuación media de 44 sobre 100 durante tres años consecutivos en el Índice de Percepción de la Corrupción (IPC), las Américas continúa sin lograr avances significativos en la lucha contra la corrupción.

Conflict at the bottom

As in previous years, many of the countries near the bottom of the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index have been severely affected by violent conflict in recent years. Why is this the case, and what does it tell us?

Why rather

Follow us on Why rather