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Parliamentary questions
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25 May 2018
P-000765/2018(ASW)
Answer given by First Vice-President Timmermans on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-000765/2018

Corruption in healthcare is a matter of concern for EU businesses(1). As noted in the Commission’s reply to Written Question E-000040/2017, the Commission has prioritised the healthcare sector in its anti-corruption experience-sharing programme which promotes the exchange of best practices, and has supported relevant work by the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC) and the European contact-point network against corruption (EACN).

The Commission has also recently published an updated study of corruption in the healthcare sector(2) that includes an analysis of improper marketing practices and corruption in the procurement of medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

The Commission is encouraging Member States to take steps to address the issue of corruption in healthcare in the framework of the European semester of economic governance.

In addition, for the case of Greece, the economic adjustment programme monitors the implementation of the national strategy against corruption, taking into consideration particular needs in high-risk sectors such as national health services.

The Commission however has no competence to follow-up on individual allegations of corruption. When such allegations arise, unless EU funds are involved(3), it is for the competent national authorities to investigate, including where necessary by engaging in cross-border cooperation with relevant authorities of other Member States. Determining the extent of the financial damage is part of the national investigative activities.

(1)In 2017, 39% of companies active in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors cite corruption as a problem for them when doing business (Flash Eurobarometer 457: Businesses’ attitudes towards corruption in the EU).
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/20170928_study_on_healthcare_corruption_en.pdf
(3)The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is competent to investigate alleged misuse of, or damage to the EU budget.

Last updated: 29 May 2018Legal notice