EU: Billions Lost Each Year to Corruption
EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has stated that approximately €120 billion is lost to corruption every year. Speaking at an anti-corruption seminar in Sweden, Malmstrom referred to corruption as "deep-rooted" and "a part of reality" in many of the countries that make up the 27 member states of the EU.
Malmstrom said that up to 25% of the value of public procurement contracts may be lost to corruption. According to Transparency International (TI), this is particularly prevalent in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and Slovakia where EU legislation regulating public procurement contracts is commonly flouted.
TI has also reported that some member states, notably the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, have held back on their corruption-fighting procedures since they joined the EU. The European Commission will publish an anti-corruption report later this year which it hopes will encourage member state leaders to confront the problem. The report will identify public corruption practices in individual member states which Malmstrom said will help to "stimulate political commitment to fight corruption more vigorously".