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Summaries of EU Legislation

Fighting corruption

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Fighting corruption

This European Commission communication presents ways to strengthen the fight against corruption in the EU and the political will of EU countries to combat corruption effectively.


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee: Fighting corruption in the EU (COM(2011) 308 final of 6 June 2011).



  • Announces that an EU anti-corruption report will be published every 2 years. Using data from different sources, the report aims to identify trends and weaknesses that need to be addressed in order to better fight corruption.
  • Urges EU countries to make use of the existing instruments for tackling corruption, such as the UN Convention Against Corruption and the Civil Law Convention on Corruption of the Council of Europe. It also urges EU countries to incorporate EU legislation regarding corruption properly in their national laws.
  • Resolves to strengthen cooperation between the EU and international organisations like the Council of Europe through EU participation in its Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).
  • Stresses the importance of making anti-corruption a key part of all EU policies, both internal and external. Internally, measures include strengthened judicial and police cooperation and modernised rules on the confiscation of criminal assets. Externally, the Commission is to continue monitoring anti-corruption policies in aspiring EU countries as well as making anti-corruption measures a condition for granting development aid.


  • The EU’s first anti-corruption report, released in February 2014, shows in its 28 country chapters that there are disparities between EU countries in the nature and level of corruption. It devotes a chapter to the vulnerability of public procurement to corruption, an issue that requires special attention.
  • Each country chapter highlights corruption trends and problems, recognises good practice and concludes with concrete recommendations.
  • The report also shares the results of two surveys that evaluate experiences and perceptions of corruption among EU citizens and companies. Overall, 76 % of EU citizens consider corruption to be a widespread problem in their country.


Corruption is an issue across the EU that causes a wide array of financial and social problems. Despite having anti-corruption instruments in place, EU countries have not been consistent in implementing them.


Public procurement: the purchase of goods and services by a public authority, such as a national or local government. 20 % of the EU’s GDP is spent on procurement each year.

Further information is available on the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs website.


Report from the Commission to the Council on the modalities of European Union participation in the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) (COM(2011) 307 final of 6 June 2011).

Commission Decision of 28 September 2011 setting up the Group of Experts on Corruption (Official Journal C 286, 30.9.2011, pp. 4-11).

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: EU anti-corruption report (COM(2014) 38 final of 3 February 2014).

last update 02.01.2015