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EU Report: In Romania, both petty and political corruption remains a significant problem

Although some positive results have been observed when it comes to prosecution of high level corruption cases, political will to address corruption and promote high standards of integrity has been inconsistent, says the first EU Anti-Corruption Report issued recently.

2014-02-04 15:38:01

In this report, the European Commission suggests that Romania ensures that all necessary guarantees remain in place to safeguard the independence and continuation of non-partisan investigations into high-level corruption cases, including with regard to elected and appointed officials.

The Commission also suggests that Romania develops comprehensive codes of conduct for elected officials and that dissuasive sanctions for corrupt practices are ensured. Strengthening of prevention and control mechanisms with regard to public procurement and public contracts is also suggested, including in state-owned and state-controlled companies. Furthermore, the Commission suggests increasing the efficiency of prevention and detection of conflicts of interest among public officials, as well as strengthening safeguards when it comes to allocation of public funding, and carrying out strategies to reduce corruption in healthcare.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 93 percent of Romanians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. 25 percent of Romanians, the second highest percentage in the EU, have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, compared to the EU average of 4 percent.

Corruption continues to be a challenge for Europe. Affecting all EU Member States, corruption costs the European economy around 120 billion euros per year. Member States have taken many initiatives in recent years, but the results are uneven and more should be done to prevent and punish corruption. These are some of the conclusions from the first ever EU Anti-Corruption Report published today by the European Commission.

The EU Anti-Corruption Report explains the situation in each Member State: what anti-corruption measures are in place, which ones are working well, what could be improved and how. National chapters in English and in national languages are available at ec.europa.eu/anti-corruption-report

The report shows that both the nature and level of corruption, and the effectiveness of measures taken to fight it, vary from one Member State to another. It also shows that corruption deserves greater attention in all Member States.

This is illustrated by the results of a Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards corruption published today. The survey shows that three quarters (76%) of Europeans think that corruption is widespread and more than half (56%) think that the level of corruption in their country has increased over the past three years. One out of twelve Europeans (8%) say they have experienced or witnessed a case of corruption in the past year. Eurobarometer results are available here.

"Corruption undermines citizens′ confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law, it hurts the European economy and deprives States from much-needed tax revenue. Member States have done a lot in recent years to fight corruption, but today's Report shows that it is far from enough. The Report suggests what can be done, and I look forward to working with Member States to follow it up", said Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

In Romania, both petty and political corruption remains a significant problem, the Report states and continues: Although some positive results have been observed when it comes to prosecution of high level corruption cases, political will to address corruption and promote high standards of integrity has been inconsistent. In this report, the European Commission suggests that Romania ensures that all necessary guarantees remain in place to safeguard the independence and continuation of non-partisan investigations into high-level corruption cases, including with regard to elected and appointed officials. The Commission also suggests that Romania develops comprehensive codes of conduct for elected officials and that dissuasive sanctions for corrupt practices are ensured.

Strengthening of prevention and control mechanisms with regard to public procurement and public contracts is also suggested, including in state-owned and state-controlled companies. Furthermore, the Commission suggests increasing the efficiency of prevention and detection of conflicts of interest among public officials, as well as strengthening safeguards when it comes to allocation of public funding, and carrying out strategies to reduce corruption in healthcare.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls. More than three quarters of European citizens, and a full 93 percent of Romanians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. 25 percent of Romanians, the second highest percentage in the EU, have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year, compared to the EU average of 4 percent.



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