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The possible effects of the corruption scandal of the european commission

The 2014 EU Anti-corruption report showed that many Member States place a high burden on law enforcement and prosecution bodies or on anti-corruption agencies which are perceived to be solely responsible for addressing corruption in the country.

Corruption cannot be tackled without a comprehensive approach aiming to also effectively enhance prevention and control mechanisms throughout the public administration, at central and local levels. However prosecution remains the critical element in fighting corruption. In the absence of effective and successful prosecutions, impunity will prevail. It is essential that prosecution services are independent, have adequate capacity and resources and benefit from the necessary support.

Acts of corruption involving high-level public officials generally have significant impact on society by distorting policies or the functioning of the state at the expense of the public good.

Corruption

When it occurs, and particularly when it goes unsanctioned, high level corruption undermines public trust and erodes the principles of democratic governments. On the other hand, successful prosecutions of high-level corruption cases have a huge galvanizing effect in pushing back against corruption.

The presentation outlined the differences between proactive and reactive investigations, with particular emphasis on the methods available to an investigator in each scenario and the reliability of evidence gathered using different investigative techniques. Discussions centred around the statistical methodologies used for data driven surveillance in Lithuania, the use of special investigation techniques, the length of the pre-trial phase before disclosure of the investigation is required and the impact of local laws and regulations on the investigative methods that can be applied during the investigation.

EBOCS enables access to unified business registry data on business ownership structure for financial analysis and investigation purposes. In the demonstration, Finnian used the EBOCS tool to identify and analyse the transnational companies linked to a particular individual. The presentation emphasised the close links between corruption, tax fraud and money laundering, as well as the increasing necessity for criminals to identify a seemingly legal circuit to channel the income paid through.

The speaker presented a case study of prosecution for high-level corruption within the magistracy, covering issues such as pre-trial preparation and the case hearing as well as media engagement. The participants discussed the influence of circumstantial evidence in corruption cases and the details of the case.

The presentation covered the support Europol provides to address the issues faced by and needs of anti-corruption investigations across its member states. The speaker emphasised the benefits of data sharing and analysis support for prosecutor, as well as the array of analytical tools Europol can deploy to support prosecutors.

A number of anonymised case studies were presented to illustrate good and bad practice. Following the presentation, the participants discussed the importance of supervision and enforcement of Codes of Conduct in public bodies as the first preventive defence against corruption. The presentation followed the trajectory of the investigation to illustrate the methods used by investigative journalists and closed with a discussion of conflicts and complementarities between investigative journalism and prosecution.

The EU Justice Scoreboard provides indicators on the performance of the justice system of each member state in terms of independence, quality and efficiency. In 2018, new data was included regarding the functioning of national prosecution services, more specifically as regards management powers over the prosecution services and guidance or instructions from the executive or parliament on prosecution. The presentation outlined the possible effects of the corruption scandal of the european commission challenges faced in terms of data availability and comparability across Member States.

A new data collection covering 2014-2016 is currently ongoing. Discussions focused on interpretation of data and cross-country comparability challenges. The presentation considered the benefits and vulnerabilities of judicial independence, the mechanisms for judicial accountability and the distinction between due and undue pressure on the judiciary.

Due pressure is stemming from media interest in high-profile cases; public debates; political decisions in relation to justice reform; and, external evaluations. Undue pressure may be deriving from political statements that may undermine judicial independence; public pressure demanding specific solutions in highly publicised cases; interference in cases e.

A central theme of the presentation was that due pressure may enhance the accountability of the judiciary, while undue pressure may undermine the justice system.

  1. Of particular note was the observation that in-country variations can be much larger than variations between national averages. In 2018, new data was included regarding the functioning of national prosecution services, more specifically as regards management powers over the prosecution services and guidance or instructions from the executive or parliament on prosecution.
  2. Its effects are serious and widespread. The presentation outlined the differences between proactive and reactive investigations, with particular emphasis on the methods available to an investigator in each scenario and the reliability of evidence gathered using different investigative techniques.
  3. The Commission also plays an advisory role, including as regards helping institutions to minimize risks of conflicts of interest in their individual integrity plans. Of particular note were discussions on the independence of the integrity advisory role as well as on the challenges in creating a climate that fosters the confidence to ask for guidance.

After a brief summary of Estonian anti-corruption efforts, the speaker outlined the principles and strategy of the Estonian public prosecution office in its public relations. The priorities are to speak the truth without disclosing evidence, protect fair trials, and protect all parties involved with criminal proceedings.

It is important for prosecution services to maintain some form of dialogue with both the public and the private sector about the impact of corruption in terms of economics, security and trust. Echoing the views of participants, he emphasised that prosecuting high-level corruption requires the involvement and cooperation of many authorities, often under high pressure from the public and the media.

Experience-Sharing Workshop on "The economic impact of corruption" Brussels, 12 December 2017 The 9th Experience Sharing Workshop brought together representatives from national ministries, civil society, specialised corruption prevention, integrity and ethics authorities, and national prosecution services, from a total of 13 Member States, alongside experts from the European Commission, international organisations, the private sector and academia to discuss the economic impact of corruption.

Economic impact of corruption — How and where to look for it? The results presented suggest that control of corruption has an impact on increasing productivity and that the combined effect of removing restrictions on services and reforming institutions would enhance competitiveness. Discussion among participants focused on the major challenges to such reforms and the importance of identifying intermediary results to ensure reform maintains political capital over the long-term.

The presentation was based on research completed at the Centre for the Study of Democracy. He then moved to discuss the impact of EU funds on the public procurement market in Bulgaria.

Anti-corruption experience sharing programme

Research by the Centre for the Study of Democracy indicates that EU funded procurements are more competitive and less prone to corruption than the national funded ones. However, in evaluating the effect of EU conditionality through policy and financial assistance, the speaker argued that while Bulgaria continues to experience a lot of governance changes, anti-corruption progress is fragmented and slow due to inconsistent political commitment. The follow-up discussion centred around the use of civil society organisations for monitoring public procurement, the relationship between anti-corruption spending and levels of corruption, as well as the types of conditionality that are effective in reducing corruption.

The speaker discussed cases from the olive oil, road construction, and telecommunications industries and concluded that the predictability of risk and reward for preventing corruption, as well as the quality of the leadership in the business are very significant factors. Starting from the premise that corruption leads to unfairness, she made reference to recent research in the fields of behavioural and experimental economics, to show that poor citizens disproportionately bear the burdens of corruption.

Building from this, the speaker argued that even people with corrupt behaviour display a preference for fairness and that fairness preferences could be used as a policy tool to deter corrupt behaviour.

Citing the development of the Lithuanian anti-corruption programme in 2002 and its subsequent implementation, the speaker identified the failings of large-scale anti-corruption programmes that are not absorbed into the culture of an organisation and do not have measurable results. By developing result-based programmes it is possible to track the effectiveness of policies and to identify unexpected benefits of policy initiatives.

At the core of the presentation was an emphasis on the monitoring and evaluation of interventions to determine their suitability and effectiveness.

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Participants discussed the importance of contextualising statistics and indicators in the wider reform setting to ensure an approach that incorporates the complementary elements of statistical analysis and stakeholder engagement. Experience-Sharing Workshop on conflicts of interests and revolving doors Barcelona, 15 june 2017 The 8th Experience Sharing Workshop, organised by the European Commission DG HOMEbrought together representatives from national ministries, civil society, specialised corruption prevention, integrity and ethics authorities, national parliaments and national prosecution services, from a total of 21 Member States, alongside experts from the European Commission.

She pointed to the need to adapt rules across various categories of officials, as blanket restrictions are not readily enforceable. While conflicts of interest cannot be entirely ruled out, the capacity for early detection is paramount for their effective containment. Any set of legislative rules regulating conflicts of interest need to be accompanied by targeted awareness-raising and training, availability of advisory support for civil servants, including guidance for handling sensitive questions as well as a climate of safe reporting on ethical concerns.

Creating the right environment for making rules enforceable also depends on setting up effective and deterrent sanctions. Managing conflicts of interests — what tools are available for public authorities?

  1. At the core of the presentation was an emphasis on the monitoring and evaluation of interventions to determine their suitability and effectiveness.
  2. He then discussed the implementation of the model in Germany together with the strengths and weaknesses of the new German law.
  3. The discussions were held under the Chatham House Rule to encourage open sharing of information. Discussions focused on interpretation of data and cross-country comparability challenges.

In the framework of the study, the office also conducted a survey for getting an overview of compliance with existing rules. While rules need to be designed taking into account the specificities of each professional group in the public sector as regards responsibility, risks of conflicts of interest and severity of consequencesa common catalogue of tools for detecting and managing conflicts of interests before, during and upon leaving office.

The role of transparency at all stages was highlighted, including as regards the publicity of sanctions as a deterring mechanism as well as a tool to repair institutional reputational damage. The presentation sparked a lively exchange mostly around setting up an efficient advisory role, where a combination of having ethics advisors at the level of each public institution as well as horizontal support by a central authority were highlighted.

Of particular note were discussions on the independence of the integrity advisory role as well as on the challenges in creating a climate that fosters the confidence to ask for guidance.

Most experts indicated an increased focus on issuing guidelines, including by publishing inquiries in an organised way, and continuous training for civil servants on ethical matters. At the same time, experts pointed to the need to clarify the relationship and interactions between media owners the possible effects of the corruption scandal of the european commission politicians.

Prevention, detection and verifications of conflict of interest situations JURE SKRBECpresented the work of the Corruption Prevention Commission of Slovenia, having extensive competencies to prevention, detection and verifications of conflicts of interests.

Of particular note were the system in place for early detection of situations of conflicts of interest, Erar formerly known as Supervizora webtool for identifying all financial transactions between public authorities and private actors.

This publicly available tool is accompanied by a system of red flags that is available for Commission inspectors, who are also enabled to cross-check information from asset declarations with information contained in other databases e. The Commission also plays an advisory role, including as regards helping institutions to minimize risks of conflicts of interest in their individual integrity plans.

During the discussion, workshop participants inquired about the availability of data on financial transactions to enable cross checks as well as data protection issues. The independence of the institutions responsible for verification, as well as their ability to carry out inquiries and impose sanctions and good cooperation with other bodies, such as tax authorities, were reiterated as crucial elements.

Cloud of corruption hangs over Bulgaria as it takes up EU presidency

Unlike the Ethics Commission on Public Service, which is responsible for all French civil servants and political advisors, the HATPV has a narrower field of competence, covering about 1000 officials government members, local elected officials, independent the possible effects of the corruption scandal of the european commission members and can conduct in depth verifications.

At the same time, restrictions with regards to the conduct of public officials are stipulated across a variety of Codes of Conduct. This leads to important differences across categories, with clear restrictions for civil servants, no rules for legislative office holders and relatively little guidance for political office holders.

The two presentations prompted reflection on striking the right balance between the need to regulate the mobility of labour between the public and the private sector and maintaining the attractiveness of the public sector and the right to work. It was noted that the general approach is to include obligations for civil servants, not always matched by obligations for private employers.

At the same time, experts pointed that for private companies, publicity and transparency are efficient measures to dissuade the breach of rules — examples were given of companies that requested the opinion of central ethics advisory bodies to clarify obligations upon hiring former high-level officials. In many contexts, peer pressure for overt ethical behaviour and the ability of companies to keep competitors in check appears to elicit compliance with ethical rules.

While disciplinary sanctions and the temporary ban on holding public office are more easily enforceable, cancelling public procurement processes when these are affected by conflicts of interest is more challenging.

This prompted the Agency to invest more heavily in preventive measures: An unstable legal framework, prescription period that are too short and legislative loopholes were identified as major threats to any integrity system. On the other hand, the conditions that appear to lead to a better dissuasive regime of sanctions were, in the Romanian case, a solid and diverse track record of solved cases, consistent jurisprudence, training and permanent guidance.

The discussion that followed was focused on the challenge of maintaining a wide array of administrative and financial sanctions. Experts were also interested in learning about Romanian legislation that includes a criminal component of conflicts of interests.

Prior workshops Experience-Sharing Programme Workshop on Anti-Corruption Indicators Brussels, 31 March 2017 The Seventh Experience Sharing Workshop, organised by the European Commission DG HOMEbrought together representatives from national ministries, anti-corruption bodies, national statistical institutes, the judiciary, and academia from 22 Member States, alongside experts from the European Commission, to discuss using indicators to inform policy and measure progress on anti-corruption.

This covered both policymaking and evaluating policies, as well as the role of performance indicators in the policy environment.

Santer Commission

This sparked a good discussion of both theoretical and practical aspects of developing and using indicators in a policy environment. The topic of anti-corruption indicators covers a broad range of quantitative sources, including: The focus can range from the international to the regional level, and may vary considerably depending on the institutions or sectors under consideration.

For many years, policymakers have recognised the benefits of good indicators, and there have been a number of calls at political level to improve the quality of indicators available.

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Luigi SORECA, Director for Security, DG HOME, opened the workshop by talking about the Commission's efforts in the fight against corruption, the role of monitoring and evaluation, the wide range of policy initiatives which involve anti-corruption elements, and the importance of data and quantitative indicators to inform all of these.

It consists of two-hour interviews of citizens, business leaders and civil servants about their perceptions and experience of anti-corruption. Of particular note were the differences in perceptions between the three groups, including the sources from which they obtained information, and their perceptions about past and future changes in the level of corruption.

The questions which followed included regional variation, questions on nepotism, response rates, and the fact that definitions of bribery or corruption depend on the respondent's own views.

Maria Giuseppina MURATOREfrom the Italian National Institute for Statistics Istatpresented the Italian survey module on experience of corruption, looking at the the possible effects of the corruption scandal of the european commission phase for the survey, the background, technical considerations and definitional issues, and how to treat survey questions about corruption, among a range of other topics.

The survey has been carried out and the results will be published in a few months' time. The discussions which followed incorporated the importance of country or cultural context, and the impact this can have on the questions; assessing people's views about the importance of the survey; representativeness of regional data; the impact of demographic information, or the dynamic between the giver and receiver, on experiences of corruption.

Corruption indicators will be one of the focal topics under the Italian G7 Presidency, and Italy will be organising a workshop in Rome in the autumn on this very subject. In the presentation and a lively discussion which followed, participants touched on the suitability of different types of indicators either for monitoring or to negotiate; the importance of using indicators that fall under the control of a certain organisation; how to deal with situations where there is no improvement against the indicators being measured; and future perspectives at the regional level.

Of particular note was the observation that in-country variations can be much larger than variations between national averages. In some countries, the regional variations are particularly large, and even negate the usefulness of a single national measure.

Discussions looked at the correlations and lack of correlations raised in the presentation, the difficulty of controlling for media influence in survey results; possibilities around looking at results on the either side of national borders; and implications of political trust at different levels of government for policy choices.