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Procedure : 2011/2744(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0481/2011

Texts tabled :

B7-0481/2011

Debates :

PV 14/09/2011 - 15
CRE 14/09/2011 - 15

Votes :

PV 15/09/2011 - 6.4
CRE 15/09/2011 - 6.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0388

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 15 September 2011 - Strasbourg Final edition
Closing the gap between anti-corruption law and reality
P7_TA(2011)0388B7-0481/2011

European Parliament resolution of 15 September 2011 on the EU's efforts to combat corruption

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee of 6 June 2011 entitled Fighting corruption in the EU (COM(2011)0308) and Commission Decision (C(2011)3673) establishing an EU Anti-corruption reporting mechanism for periodic assessment (‘EU Anti-corruption Report’),

–  having regard to Articles 67(3) and 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens‘,

–  having regard to its Declaration of 18 May 2010 on the Union's efforts in combating corruption(1) ,

–  having regard to Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA of 22 July 2003 on combating corruption in the private sector(2) ,

–  having regard to the EU Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests(3) and the EU Protocol drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union to the Convention on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests(4) criminalising fraud and corruption affecting the EU's financial interests,

–  having regard to the EU Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 (2) (c) of the Treaty on European Union on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union(5) criminalising fraud and corruption disconnected from EU financial interests,

–  having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas corruption is as an area of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension and often has implications across and beyond EU borders, and whereas the European Union has a general right to act in the field of anticorruption policy;

B.  whereas Article 67 TFEU stipulates the Union's obligation to ensure a high level of security, including through the prevention and combating of crime and approximation of criminal laws, and whereas Article 83 TFEU lists corruption as one of the particularly serious crimes with a cross border dimension;

C.  whereas the Stockholm Programme (4.1) lists corruption among the trans-national threats that continue to challenge the internal security of the Union, which require a clear and comprehensive response;

D.  whereas four out of five EU citizens regard corruption as a serious problem in their Member State (2009 Eurobarometer on attitudes of Europeans towards corruption) and 88% of the respondents to the 2008 public consultation on the Stockholm Programme considered that the EU should do more about corruption;

E.  whereas an estimated EUR 120 billion per year, representing one percent of the EU GDP, is lost to corruption (COM(2011)0308);

F.  whereas corruption undermines the rule of law, leads to the misuse of public money in general and of EU funds provided by the taxpayer and distorts the market, having played a role in the current economic crisis;

G.  whereas the economic recovery of Member States hit by the economic and financial crisis is hampered by corruption, tax evasion, tax fraud and other economic crimes; whereas the risk of corruptive practices in the case of large-scale deregulation and privatisation is particularly high and must be addressed by all possible means;

H.  whereas corruption causes social harm, as organised crime groups use it to commit other serious crimes, such as trafficking in drugs and human beings (COM(2011)0308);

I.  whereas there is a lack of political commitment on the part of leaders and decision-makers to combat corruption in all its forms and the implementation of anti-corruption legislation is uneven among the Member States and unsatisfactory overall (COM(2011)0308);

J.  whereas three EU Member States have not ratified the Council of Europe's Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, twelve have not ratified its additional Protocol and seven have not ratified the Civil Law Convention on Corruption; whereas three Member States have not yet ratified the UNCAC and five EU Member States have not ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention;

K.  whereas the perception of corruption seriously undermines mutual trust among the Member States, thereby affecting cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs;

L.  whereas judicial cooperation in corruption cases with a cross-border dimension remains complex and sluggish;

M.  whereas, if not addressed urgently and properly, corruption can undermine trust in democratic institutions and weaken the accountability of political leadership (COM(2011)0308);

N.  whereas corruption has kept many dictatorial regimes in power and allowed them to channel significant amounts of money to foreign bank accounts, including European ones; whereas Member States need to step up their efforts to trace and freeze foreign stolen assets so they can be returned to their rightful owners;

1.  Welcomes the adoption by the Commission on 6 June 2011 of an anti-corruption package(6) , which includes a communication on fighting corruption in the EU and a decision establishing the ‘EU Anti-corruption Report’;

2.  Calls on the Commission to prioritise the fight against corruption in the context of its security agenda for the years to come, including as regards the human resources allocated to it;

3.  Calls on the Commission to address through its reporting mechanism the key concern of effective implementation of anticorruption laws, as well as dissuasive sanctions, including those imposed by law enforcement and judiciary;

4.  Calls on the Commission to address the transposition and enforcement of EU anti-corruption legislation, including dissuasive sanctions, and to take steps to stimulate the transposition and enforcement by the Member States of relevant international and regional anticorruption instruments;

5.  Calls on the Commission, in implementing the EU anticorruption reporting mechanism, to ensure that independent experts are part of the expert group and the network of research correspondents, that all experts have a proven high level of integrity, reputation and expertise, and that a variety of civil society organisations are represented;

6.  Asks the Commission to consider issuing interim anti-corruption reports before 2013, given the urgency of tackling this issue in view of the current economic crisis in many Member States;

7.  Calls on the Commission to act on the basis of Article 83 (1) TFEU to adopt minimum rules on the definition of and sanctions for corruption, given its cross-border dimension and internal market consequences;

8.  Notes with concern the lack of progress in the implementation by the Member States of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA on combating corruption in the private sector; urges the Member States to transpose and enforce the provisions of this framework decision;

9.  Calls on the Council and the Member States to fully implement the 1995 and 1997 EU conventions criminalising fraud and corruption;

10.  Suggests that the Commission take further action at EU level towards harmonising legislation on the protection of whistleblowers (including protection against libel and defamation lawsuits and criminal charges) and the criminalisation of illicit enrichment;

11.  Calls on all EU institutions, including EU agencies and Member States, to ensure more transparency by drawing up codes of conduct or improving those already existing, with at least clear rules on conflicts of interest, as well as to take action in preventing and fighting corruption infiltrating politics and the media, including by enhancing transparency and supervision of financing and funding;

12.  Calls on the Member States to invest financial and human resources in the combating of corruption; stresses the need for the Member States to cooperate with Europol, Eurojust and OLAF in investigating and prosecuting crimes related to corruption;

13.  Calls on the Commission and Eurojust to ensure a more efficient and speedy exchange of documents and information between national courts on corruption cases with a cross-border dimension;

14.  Calls on the Council to ensure the necessary political commitment, currently lacking in some Member States, to combat corruption and to implement the measures adopted by the Commission through its anticorruption package and the wider package on the protection of the licit economy;

15.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to make the current network of national focal points against corruption more effective and asks the Commission to inform the European Parliament of the activities of this network;

16.  Calls on the Council and the Member States to ratify and fully implement the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions; stresses the negative impact that bribery of foreign officials has on the Union's fundamental rights, environment and development policies;

17.  Urges the Commission to speed up its work in order to meet its reporting obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption;

18.  Takes the view that the fight against corruption involves greater transparency in financial transactions, especially those involving the so-called offshore jurisdictions within the EU and elsewhere in the world;

19.  Asks the Council to act jointly with the Commission in establishing agreements with third countries (especially the so-called offshore jurisdictions) for the purpose of granting the exchange of information about bank accounts and financial transactions relating to EU citizens and companies to those countries;

20.  Calls on the Commission to make the fight against anonymous shell companies in secrecy jurisdictions, enabling criminal financial flows, a key element of the upcoming reform of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive;

21.  Urges the Commission to ensure strong policy coordination of the anti-corruption reporting mechanism with the new anti-fraud strategy and the legislative initiative on criminal assets recovery, included in the wider package on the protection of the licit economy;

22.  Asks the Commission to report on an annual basis to the European Parliament on the implementation of the EU anti-corruption policy and to submit, whenever relevant and feasible, interim reports on specific problems relating to the fight against corruption in the EU;

23.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Council.

(1) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 62.
(2) OJ L 192, 31.7.2003, p.54.
(3) OJ C 316, 27.11.1995, p. 49.
(4) OJ C 313, 23.10.1996, p. 2.
(5) OJ C 195, 25.6.1997, p. 2.
(6) The anti-corruption package contains a Communication on fighting corruption in the EU, a decision establishing an EU anticorruption reporting mechanism, a report on the implementation of Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA on combating corruption in the private sector, and a report on the modalities of EU participation in the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).

Last updated: 13 November 2012Legal notice