Weekly news – 9 February 2018
This week we’ve been talking about Europe and how to combat the corruption risks at its fringes.
- On Tuesday, the European Commission (EC) published its new strategy for enlarging the EU by six nations in the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
- The strategy contains unusually strong language about corruption and the rule of law, using the term ‚state capture‘ for the first time in an official EC document. In part, we said in our analysis, this reflects the EC’s bitter experience with countries such as Poland and Hungary who, after promising beginnings, are now backsliding into authoritarianism and illiberalism.
- The strategy calls not only for institutional changes, but a societal transformation. This is something we have been arguing for in recent years. Now, it is up to politicians in the Western Balkans to rise to the challenge.
- This week, we’ve called on the EU to make sure the lessons of the Azerbaijani Laundromat are learned and not forgotten, particularly during a high-level meeting between the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister and the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs on Friday.
- We’ve been gripped by the revelation of how the Eurovision Song Contest played a role in helping associates of disgraced Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych funnel money out of state coffers, with the help of a company in the UK.
- In a week when the EU looks outward towards its neighbours and takes an active role in promoting anti-corruption, we think it’s important to note that the EU could still better understand its own role in enabling corruption beyond its borders.
This year’s index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. Drawing on 13 surveys of businesspeople and expert assessments, our analysis looks at linkages between corruption, press freedom and the decline of civil liberties around the world.
— Transparency Int’l (@anticorruption) 5. února 2018
This is the second story of our new series Real Lives, Real Stories,written by staff from our national chapters in the Asia Pacific region. Did you miss the first story? Catch up here.
UK: Britain targets global corruption with law to seize unexplained wealth
Voice of America (9 February, TI mention)
Ukraine: Is President Poroshenko linked to a dodgy $500m deal?
Al Jazeera (8 February, TI mention)
Italy: Fifteen arrested in Italy over Eni bribery scandal
The Local Italy (7 February)
Global: EU flags fraud and corruption in refugee settlements in Uganda
EurActiv (6 February)
USA: Acting ethics chief takes backhanded swipe at Trump
Politico (5 February, TI mention)
Source: Transparency International
European Commission (EC) published its new strategy for enlarging the EU by six nations in the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.