To aid Member States, practitioners, researchers and civil society, the European Commission today publishes a Handbook of good practices in the fight against corruption.
The handbook describes 27 good practices, one initiative per EU Member state with a positive impact in the prevention or repression of corruption. This can be either a practice that is established for years and has shown results or an innovative solution to either new or old problems.
For instance, a new data analysis tool in Finland assists law enforcement authorities to process large quantities of data to pinpoint cases that require additional investigation. In Greece, a particularly broad stakeholder consultation laid the basis for the 2022-2025 Anti-Corruption Plan. Whereas in Slovenia, a “one-stop shop” for public data ensures that various different databases are merged and easily accessible to the public.
This handbook, gathering practices from across the EU, can be consulted as a list of concepts and ideas to estimate and improve one’s own country’s efforts. It can also inspire researchers or practitioners in their day-to-day work. Furthermore, it has applications as a peer-learning and exchange tool.
The good practices gathered in the handbook are clustered across 8 different themes or “anti-corruption approaches”. Each theme is foreseen with the appropriate theoretical underpinning. In addition, the 27 good practices are presented in such a way to enable transferability to a variety of different contexts. As a whole, the text recognises that anti-corruption efforts are complex efforts, that are often not linear. As such, transferring good practices from one context to another is not easy, and requires taking into account many different aspects.
Several trends among the good practices stand out – including a push for transparency and open data, increasing reliance on data and technological solutions and the use of collaborative approaches (both of citizens, and of governments). More classical approaches, such as anti-corruption agencies and strategies, continue to be popular, with increasing attention to their pitfalls and possible disadvantages.
The handbook was commissioned by the European Commission and drafted thorough a collaborative effort between the research team at Ecorys and the Local Research Correspondents on Corruption (LRCC). The LRCC is a network of civil society and academia, funded by the European Commission, that takes stock of the fight against corruption on the ground in each EU Member State.
The handbook is part of the overall efforts of the European Commission on anti-corruption policy. A proposal for a Directive on combating corruption through criminal law is under preparation. The Commission likewise regularly conducts experience-sharing workshops with Member State experts to discuss good practices in the fight against corruption. The Handbook aims to aid in these initiatives.
Download the handbook
- Publication date
- 15 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs