The EU Anti-corruption Intergroup calls for the EU to fulfil its obligations under the UNCAC

4 September 2020 –

Twelve years ago, the European Union joined the list of States committed to fighting corruption and promoting transparency on a national, regional and global level through the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). To this day, the EU is the only economic integration organisation legally bound to the UNCAC. As such, the European Union has not yet been subjected to any reviews or conducted the self-assessment to evaluate its compliance with the international treaty, despite its general engagement in developing anti-corruption measures and ensuring transparency.

Recalling the commitment made by José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission, to abide by the UNCAC, the EU’s Anti-corruption Intergroup has emphasized the pressing need for the EU to fulfil its obligations under the UNCAC in a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, current President of the European Commission. The Intergroup is composed of 129 members of the European Parliament from 23 different countries and aims to fight corruption throughout Europe.

The UN Convention against Corruption is an important and effective tool to fight corruption. The comprehensive nature of the treaty provides for substantial measures, provisions and guidelines for the EU to enhance its legal framework and effectively reduce transnational corruption. Reinforcing the EU commitment to transparency and the promotion of accountability, integrity and openness is particularly crucial during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While the EU has been mobilizing large sums in emergency aid to confront the present economic and public health crisis, it needs to ensure that those resources are used to support victims of the pandemic and the European economy in a time of growing public distrust in European institutions. As a result, fighting corruption in Europe is not only a matter of saving public money by using resources in an appropriate manner, but also a way to strengthen democracy and regain Europeans’ trust.

Although the European Union does not take part in the country review process, the Anti-corruption Intergroup urges the EU to fill out the self-assessment questionnaire and meet the standards set under the UNCAC.

See the full letter below.

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