Ref. Ares(2017)617150 - 03/02/2017
Ref. Ares(2017)3410468 - 06/07/2017
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL MIGRATION and HOME AFFAIRS
The Director General
Note to the attention of the National Contact Points on corruption on the EU Anti-
First, I would like to thank you for the fruitful exchange with the Commission throughout
the past years. I am particularly grateful for your positive contribution to the follow-up of
the 2014 EU Anti-Corruption report, to the data collection exercise on criminal statistics
on corruption, and for the active participation of your country in the workshops under our
Over the past years the Commission has strengthened the EU anti-corruption framework,
including through Member State-by-Member State analysis of the challenges experienced
and the actions taken. The EU anti-corruption report published in 2014 pulled these
threads together and has served as the basis for dialogues with individual Member States
and as a useful background for wider debate on the issue both at EU level and in
individual Member States.
This work has been deepened and evolved further, for instance through the anti-
corruption experience-sharing programme for Member States experts launched in 2015.
In 2015 and 2016, with your valuable help in sharing information in the relevant fora
about this initiative, over 200 national experts participated in a total of six such
workshops on asset disclosure, whistle-blower protection, healthcare corruption, local
public procurement, private sector corruption, and political immunities. Further
workshops are planned for 2017 and beyond; they will continue provide a forum for
exchanging information on the implementation of anti-corruption policies. In 2017, we
plan to start with a workshop on corruption indicators, to be held in Brussels on 23
March. You will receive an invitation shortly.
The fruits of the anti-corruption work in Europe can be seen in concrete examples of
Member States taking legislative or other action to prevent and counter corruption. The
Commission has also been providing financing for projects in the area of anti-corruption
as an important element in administrative capacity building.
During this period the wider policy framework at EU level has evolved in a number of
ways. Most importantly, fighting corruption has become a key element of the European
semester process of economic governance, where a number of the country reports now
include specific analysis of corruption risks and associated challenges. In relevant cases,
these issues have also been reflected in country specific recommendations under the
Semester; recommendations which have been endorsed by the European Council. Taking
up anti-corruption matters in the context of the main economic policy dialogue between
the Member States and EU institutions is in line with the general approach of this
Commission to streamline processes and focus on key issues in the relevant fora.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
Office: LX46 06/105 - Tel. direct line +32 229-+32 229-50734
Corruption is a key issue in several Member States, and its economic and social
significance makes it essential that this is properly reflected in the European semester
process. At the same time, this raises the question of whether the anti-corruption
reporting format adopted in 2014 is still necessary today. While the first report was
useful in providing an analytical overview and creating a basis for further work, this does
not necessarily mean that a continued succession of similar reports in the future would be
the best way to proceed.
Given the complexity and evolving nature of corruption and its prevention, the
Commission prefers to rely on a more efficient and versatile approach that will
complement the continued focus given to corruption issues in the European semester
with operational activities to share experience and best practices among Member States'
authorities and actively working in a wider context alongside international organisations
such as the UN, Council of Europe, the OECD, G7 and others who are engaged in
valuable anti-corruption work, as well as private stakeholders and civil society
This work goes hand in hand with action at EU level in targeted areas where the EU can
make a difference. For example, the Commission is currently assessing the need for
further steps on whistle-blower protection at EU level. European legislation in other areas
such as anti-money laundering and public procurement also makes an important
contribution to the fight against corruption. Various measures have been taken or are
under discussion to increase transparency, for example as concerns beneficial ownership
and corporate tax transparency, or the contacts between EU decision-makers and interest
representatives. Finally, I would like to mention the work to fight fraud and corruption
risks in the implementation of EU funds. In this context, legislative action is also
relevant, notable examples being the work to establish a European Public Prosecutor's
Office and the recently agreed directive on the protection of the financial interests of the
To conclude, I would like to stress that the Commission remains fully convinced of the
need to combat and prevent corruption and is committed to continuing its work in this
field. It is in the common interest to ensure that all Member States have effective anti-
corruption policies and that the EU supports the Member States in pursuing this work.
An effective fight against corruption within the EU remains essential – delivered through
the right vehicle. The Commission will also continue to be fully engaged in order to
ensure the integrity of our institutions and policies as well as the protection of taxpayer
money flowing through the EU budget.
I am therefore looking forward to continuing our dialogue on ways to strengthen our
common anti-corruption work. The network of National Contact Points on corruption has
proven a valuable forum for our common work and I would welcome your continued
engagement and participation.