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News article16 December 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

“Future of the fight against corruption”: DG HOME workshop on the fight against corruption

Room of workshop participants

On 14 December 2022, the 15th Experience-sharing Workshop in the Fight against Corruption took place in Brussels. The Commission regularly organises experience-sharing workshops to exchange knowledge and best practices how to fight corruption with experts in Member States national administrations. The first such workshop took place in 2015.

This workshop brought together representatives of EU Member States, Commission services and international organisations to discuss the theme of the future of the fight against corruption in the EU. In particular, the Workshop discussed the Commission’s planned anti-corruption package, the criminalisation of certain corruption offences such as trading in influence and illicit enrichment, and the strategic framework at national and European level.

DG HOME recalled the work done during the 14th workshop in September 2022, focusing on the topic of lobbying; and looked forward to following up on the recommendations on lobbying in the 2023 Rule of Law report. OECD informed the workshop of the ongoing work on the revised OECD recommendation on lobbying and their monitoring and implementation work on the existing recommendation.

Workshop participants at long table

The Criminalisation of corruption in the EU

DG HOME presented the ongoing work on the anti-corruption package, including a possible Communication and Directive. The Directive would replace the currently outdated acquis on corruption, which focuses on the criminalisation of bribery, and go beyond this, including the possible criminalisation of offences such as illicit enrichment, trading in influence and abuse of power. Member States actively engaged with questions and comments.  

As part of the data collection for the proposal, the Commission welcomed the wide response to its first questionnaire and presented the preliminary results on the (powers of) specialised authorities, the average time of bribery proceedings and the wider availability of criminal justice data on bribery. The results of this questionnaire could eventually be included in the EU Justice Scoreboard.

Discussions later on in the workshop focused on two offences included in the UN Convention against Corruption: illicit enrichment and trading in influence. Darius Mickevicius from the Lithuanian investigative service presented the criminalisation of illicit enrichment in Lithuania, while Oliver Landwehr presented an academic perspective on some of the difficulties with the offence. On trading in influence, Teeli Mägi, assistant prosecutor from Estonia presented the Estonian experience with criminalising the provision, including concrete cases; while Chanez Mensous from Sherpa presented an NGO perspective from France.

The fight against corruption at strategic level

Member States discussed also lessons learned from their national anti-corruption strategies, including example from Czechia, Portugal, France and Italy. The UN Office from Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the secretariat of the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) represented their views a successful anti-corruption strategy.

The EU’s strategic role in the prevention of and fight against corruption was also discussed, with presentation of Nick Aiossa from Transparency International EU on what the EU can do more; while Radu Nicolae, president of the board of Syene Centre for Education, highlighted the role the EU can play in its neighbourhood.

Workshop participants on laptops

Details

Publication date
16 December 2022
Author
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs