Madrid, 3 March 2017 – Fourteen (14) of Europe’s leading transparency organisations today submitted a formal request for EU documents in an attempt to understand what lies behind the European Commission’s surprise decision not to publish the EU Anti-Corruption Report, which was originally scheduled for publication in 2016.
The unexpected decision to permanently shelve the second edition of the EU Anti-Corruption Report, first published in 2014, was announced by Vice-President Frans Timmermans in a letter to the European Parliament in early 2017.
The watchdog organisations from across the European Union have requested documents relating to the decision to withhold the reports, as well as for copies of the current versions of the country chapters, which are believed to be in near-final form.
The signatories to the request are Access Info Europe (Spain/EU), K-Monitor (Hungary), ePaństwo Foundation (Poland), GONG (Croatia), Vouliwatch (Greece), Open State Foundation (Netherlands), Open Knowledge Foundation (Germany), Informationsfreiheit (Austria), Diritto di Sapere (Italy), Access to Information Programme (Bulgaria), Funky Citizens (Romania), Transparency International EU, Anticor Belgique (Belgium), and Fair-play Alliance (Slovakia).
A copy of the request is available here: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/eu_anti_corruption_report
Access Info Europe, one of the requesters, noted that the Commission’s own data shows that Europeans are deeply worried about corruption: Eurobarometer survey results indicate that three quarters (76%) of Europeans think that corruption is widespread.
“It’s essential that the Commission be transparent about decisions such as this, particularly given the huge public concerns about misuse and theft of public funds, which at the end of the day is taxpayers’ money,” said Helen Darbishire, Director of Access Info.
The EU Anti-Corruption Report would have provided an assessment of anti-corruption efforts in each EU Member State, along with recommendations for each country.
“The gap between the rhetoric from President Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans and the reality on the ground is striking. Now, more than ever, we need a strong and visible commitment to tackling corruption. Rising populism and the weakening of the rule of law across Europe requires concrete action from the EU on fighting corruption,” said Carl Dolan, Director of Transparency International EU, another signatory to the request.
For more information, please contact:
Luisa Izuzquiza, Communications Officer | Access Info Europe
Helen Darbishire, Executive Director | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558
Photo: European Parliament via Flick (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)