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Buzek on Anti-Corruption Day

Brussels -
Friday 09/12/2011

 

Marking today's International Day against Corruption, the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stated:

"Corruption destroys legitimacy, thwarts merit, hampers efficiency and erodes the rule of law. In corrupt societies citizens will be deprived of what is legitimately theirs and will have fewer incentives to participate in public life as whatever their input is, the output will remain the same. Corruption is the cancer of politics and society.

During times of economic difficulties, our efforts in the fight against corruption must be doubled. Citizens must be reassured that public interest is the only interest that counts for public officials.

After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty which resulted in a significant increase of power conferred to the European Parliament, the EP has decided by a very large majority to introduce a Code of Conduct for MEPs.

The Code of Conduct is a major improvement on the status quo. It is the first-ever Code for MEPs. Yet, even if good rules are crucial, their implementation and practice will determine the success of the Code.

Today is also a good day to reflect on corruption in Europe. As the Transparency International 2011 Corruption Perception Index shows, there are great differences in our Union. These perceptions tend to replicate reality and - in any case - matter enormously to public life and to the business environment.

As the EU advocates transparency, fairness and the rule of law in third countries, we must be particularly firm with ourselves. If our word is to count, it is because it is the reflection of our behaviour."

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