The Hungarian chapter of George Soros' Open Society Institute has released a new report that confirms the problem that the European Union faces with candidate members that are more corrupt than the average existing members. Since many of the existing members are more corrupt than the US the EU already has a serious problem with corruption. From the press release
The OSI reports confirm existing perceptions that corruption in candidate States is a significant problem. The main findings of the country reports are the following:
The issue of corruption tends to be used in candidate States as a political weapon. A survey carried out in November 2001 by Strathclyde University found that three-quarters of citizens in candidate States believed most or all public officials to be corrupt. Opposition parties across the region often use corruption to help them win elections, and then disappoint electorates by not delivering on their promises - further delegitimising politics. In Poland, the issue of corruption is providing ammunition to populist parties that are - ironically - opposed to EU accession.
Political will to tackle low-level corruption is high across the region. However, very few candidate States have put in place frameworks that can effectively combat high-level corruption. This is particularly true regarding corruption in the lawmaking process and in political party financing. Lithuania stands out as a country that has put in place mechanisms that appear to be increasingly effective against corruption at all levels.
Corruption is a serious problem in public administration in almost all candidate States, underpinned inter alia by the absence of effective appeal procedures and widespread conflicts of interest. For example, the Czech Republic, where administrative procedure and appeal processes date from the 1960's, is typical in providing citizens with poor options for redress against administrative fiat.
Corruption in public procurement remains a serious problem in most if not all candidate States: bribes of 10-20 percent of contract value appear to be typical, while collusion between bidders appears to be widespread across countries as different as Slovenia and Bulgaria.
The full text of the report is available for downloading here: Monitoring the EU Accession Process: Corruption and Anti-corruption Policy.
The full text of a recent related report is available here: Monitoring the EU Accession Process: Judicial Capacity. The UK Guardian has also published an article about this report.
Also see my previous posts on EU corruption.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 10 02:56 PM Europe and America|