Update of the anti-corruption legislative framework

EESC opinion: Update of the anti-corruption legislative framework

Key points


  • suggests extending the legal basis of the Directive to include Articles 84 and 87 TFEU, on preventive measures and police cooperation;
  • suggests to accompany this initiative with a parallel legal framework addressing the Union legal system in a binding way, as the obligations of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) apply equally to all contracting parties;
  • considers the adoption of a Council decision to extend the competences of the EU Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) to corruption, including when the Union's financial interests are not involved;
  • believes that the definition of "public officials" should be formulated in more details;
  • believes that the Directive should introduce obligations for Member States to adopt rules in a number of areas, such as keeping records of all accesses to elected and government officials, strengthening post-mandate bans to curb pantouflage, adopting codes of conduct and a legal framework on lobbying, establishing a system of incompatibility as well as financial disclosures and registration of assets for members of the legislative, executive and judiciary systems. Similar rules could apply to EU institutions, bodies and agencies regarding conflict of interest;
  • underlines the importance that Member States have in place or adopt appropriate procedures and practices for the recruitment of public servants and funding of political parties;
  • notes that the European Commission could consider creating an independent corruption prevention authority, to comply with Article 6 of the UNCAC;
  • suggests that the Member States could provide special speedy procedures to administer criminal justice for corruption crimes as well as specific forms of mutual legal assistance;
  • suggests that the Member States create rules for preventive seizure and freezing of assets, to guarantee the loss of advantage resulting from acts of corruption, including refunds and compensation for victims;
  • believes that "trading in influence" should be strictly defined and clear parameters for the corresponding offences should be contemplated, in order to fight inappropriate private influence;
  • points out that referring to "legal persons" in Article 2(7) excludes the possibility of legal liability for entities that have no legal personality.