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“Fight corruption in the EU and worldwide” – International Anti-Corruption Day


On this International Anti-Corruption Day, we review the latest measures put in place by the European Commission in its commitment to fight corruption. Within 2023, the Commission delivered a far-reaching legislative anti-corruption set of measures while also establishing an EU Network against Corruption. These initiatives follow up on President von der Leyen’s pledge to fight corruption in the EU and worldwide. 

The anti-corruption proposals and the EU Network against Corruption 

The 2023 anti-corruption proposals represent a milestone in the fight against corruption, both at national and EU level. This set of measures includes a legislative proposal criminalising corruption offences and harmonising penalties across the EU.

The Commission also established the EU Network against Corruption, which convened for the first time in Brussels, in September 2023. Its role is to bring together all stakeholders in the fight against corruption, from national authorities and experts to international organisations and EU bodies, in order to foster collaboration, identify trends and build more effective anti-corruption policies across the EU. 

Background and next steps

Corruption is still widespread. It is difficult to quantify by its nature, however even by conservative estimates it costs the EU economy at least EUR 120 billion per year.  

As shown by a recent Commission survey on corruption, scepticism among Europeans is growing. The survey found that 40% of EU citizens believe that corruption has risen in their country over the past three years. Decisive action to fight corruption is therefore key to preserving trust between EU citizens and institutions. 


The Commission is working with its international partners to fight corruption on a global scale. This will be the case in the Conference of State Parties (CoSP) to the UN Convention against Corruption, which will take place between 11-15 December.

Link:, dated December 9, 2023 1:04 pm

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