Monday, 3 February 2014

Corruption costs EU economies €120bn per year

The EU Commission has released the findings of a study into corruption in the EU (no, I don't think they were being ironic) which shows that fraud and bribery are costing the collective economy of the EU €120bn per year.

It isn't clear from the reports whether the estimated €4bn a year that is lost to fraud within EU budgets is included in this €120bn but presumably it isn't as an assessment of the level of corruption in EU institutions was dropped early on. It will come as no surprise that the report was accompanied by a call for the EU's fraud investigation department, OLAF, to be given more money. The report says that the quality of corruption investigations varies widely across the EU so calls for more powers and harmonisation will no doubt follow shortly.

Unsurprisingly, corruption was most prolific in Greece and Spain where between 60-69% of people said they were personally affected by corruption in their daily life. Romania and Croatia were next at 50-59% and Italy and Slovakia at 40-49%. The UK was low down the corruption list at 10-19%.
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