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EU and states should root out corruption

September 15, 2011 4:50 PM

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed a European Parliament call for much tougher EU action on corruption. Transparency International gives poor ratings to many EU states.

The European Commission recently produced a package of measures to target corruption. These included a reporting mechanism whereby the level of corruption in each EU member state would be assessed every two years.

Sarah Ludford said:

"Naming and shaming has a role to play in embarrassing laggard states - which until recently included the UK until the coalition acted - to crack down on fraud and bribery. EU leaders must cease being 'diplomatic' and summon the political will - currently lacking - to read the riot act to their miscreant counterparts in some national capitals."

"But MEPs are right to insist also on enforcement action in the European court against those states failing to implement anti-corruption legislation. Some governments will drag their feet without sanctions that hurt."

"Corruption costs Europe at least €120 billion a year, 1 per cent of our collective national income, and steals jobs from honest firms and workers. At a time of fiscal austerity and unemployment pressure, our citizens cannot afford these costs."

"Corruption is also the twin of mafia crime. It frustrates efforts to keep European borders as open as possible for people and trade. The mutual trust in justice necessary for cross-border crime-fighting is destroyed if human traffickers, gun-runners or drug- smugglers can bribe border guards, judges or police."

Notes to Editors:

More details about the Commission's anti-corruption package from June 6th can be seen here:

The resolution can be seen here: