According to the Eurobarometer survey published by the Commission today almost three quarters of Europeans continue to see corruption as a major problem, think it exists at all levels of government and has increased in the last three years. Eight percent of respondents say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.
Whilst the nature and scope of corruption varies from one EU State to another, corruption harms the EU as a whole. The economic costs incurred by corruption in the EU are estimated to amount to around € 120 billion per year.
In June last year, the European Commission adopted an anti-corruption package calling for a stronger focus on corruption in all relevant EU policies . It also established a specific EU monitoring and assessment mechanism, an EU Anti-Corruption Report, which will give an account of the state of play of anti-corruption efforts in all member countries. The first report is scheduled for 2013.
The Commission will soon propose further legislation, notably on the confiscation of criminals' assets, the reform of public procurement rules, more advanced statistics on crime and an enhanced anti-fraud policy at the European level.