EP Pushes for Efforts against Corruption in the World
In a recommendation adopted on 17 February 2022, the European Parliament (EP) addressed several recommendations to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning corruption and human rights. MEPs, inter alia, advocate a comprehensive EU anti-corruption strategy. This should include a human rights-based approach in the fight against corruption, with victims of corruption placed at its core and the fight against corruption at the centre of the EU’s policies promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world. Work on an internationally agreed definition of corruption should be launched. Furthermore, more efforts are needed to ensure transparency, which includes the abolition of excessive rules on professional secrecy in relevant sectors, the automatic exchange of information on tax fraud and evasion, and multinational public registers on beneficial ownerships. Other recommendations include:
- Applying the highest ethical and transparency standards in EU funding;
- Integrating binding and enforceable human rights and anti-corruption clauses into all trade and investment agreements between the EU and third countries;
- Establishing common EU rules for criminal sanctions for corruption on the basis of Art. 83 TFEU;
- Making efforts in freezing and confiscating stolen assets and proceeds of corruption;
- Increasing financial support to civil society organisations that are committed to prevent and fight corruption – including support against strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP suits);
- Establishing binding EU rules on human rights and environmental due diligence, imposed on all entities and business relationships throughout a company's value chain;
- Developing an action plan to strengthen human rights due diligence in sectors such as finance, accounting or real estate, which often foster global corruption.
MEPs also repeated requests to amend the current EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime by extending its scope to include acts of corruption or alternatively come forward with a legislative proposal to adopt a new thematic sanction regime against serious acts of corruption.