EU Commits on International Anti-Corruption Day
21 December 2023 (updated 1 month, 1 week ago) // Published in printed Issue 4/2023
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

Each year, 9 December marks International Anti-Corruption Day. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly as a way to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in combating and preventing it. The Convention was adopted in 2003 and celebrates its 20 anniversary in 2023 with meanwhile 190 parties. The 2023 International Anti-Corruption Day highlighted the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development.

On the eve of the International Anti-Corruption Day, the European Commission affirmed the EU's commitment to fight corruption in particular also at the global level. The Commission stressed its support for the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) to the UN Convention against Corruption, which took place from 11 to 15 December 2023 in Atlanta (United States of America). The Conference is the main policymaking body of the UNCAC and meets every two years. It supports States parties and signatories in their implementation of the UNCAC, and gives policy guidance to UNODC to develop and implement anti-corruption activities.

The Commission also called to mind its anti-corruption package which was presented in May 2023 (→ eucrim 2/2023, 139). According to the Commission, this represents a milestone in the fight against corruption, both at national and EU level, including the legislative proposal for a new anti-corruption Directive criminalising corruption offences and harmonising penalties across the EU (→ eucrim 2/2023, 140-141) and the establishment of the EU Network against Corruption (→ eucrim 2/2023, 141).

Lastly, the Commission pointed out a recent Eurobarometer survey on corruption which found that 4 in 10 citizens believe that corruption has risen in their country over the past three years. Also 65% of EU companies think the problem of corruption is "fairly" to "very" widespread in their country. Citizens and businesses alike are increasingly sceptical about national efforts to address corruption.

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2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher