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The EU moves forward with its implementation review of the UN Convention against Corruption


On 13 and 14 November 2023, representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Czechia, and Niue, visited Brussels to review the EU’s implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). This Convention, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is a legally binding, world-wide anti-corruption instrument. Adopted by the United Nations in 2003, it currently counts 190 signatory parties, including the EU.

To effectively implement the UNCAC, all signatories must undergo an Implementation Review. The reviewing process started with a self-assessment, published by the European Commission in September 2022, and was followed by a written exchange in September 2023, where EU representatives answered the reviewers’ questions. Each State Party must be reviewed by two peers selected by a drawing of lots. The EU is reviewed by Czechia and Niue, under the coordination of the UNODC.

It is the first time the EU is subject to such a review, given that, as a regional and international organisation, it is not a typical State Party. Consequently, this country visit represents an important milestone in the engagement of the EU with UNCAC and its recognition as a fully-fledged State Party.

Organised by the European Commission, this event brought together many of its departments as well as other Union institutions, offices, bodies and agencies – Europol, Eurojust, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Council Secretariat, among others. During this two-day review, they presented the EU’s anti-corruption framework, shared their reflections with the reviewers, and answered their questions.

Photo of the hearing

The country visit consisted of an extensive technical exchange, notably on the EU’s implementation of articles 15 – 42 of Chapter III “Criminalization and law enforcement” and articles 44 – 50 of Chapter IV “International cooperation” of the UN Convention against Corruption. The visit was an opportunity for the EU to show how it complies with its obligations under the Convention, and present recent initiatives in the prevention of and fight against corruption, which constitute priority areas of its internal security policy. The European Commission also highlighted its proposal for a Directive on combating corruption of May 2023, aiming to further implement provisions from the UNCAC.

The country visit was concluded with a session dedicated to civil society organisations selected through an open call for participation, allowing for a direct exchange with the reviewers without the presence of the EU delegation, and informing them of their take on the EU anti-corruption framework. The 1st cycle of the EU’s review under UNCAC will now be finalised with the adoption of an executive summary, including recommendations and a final review report in the course of 2024.


Link:, dated November 17, 2023 3:37 pm

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