Corruption as an obstacle to development: Council approves conclusions
The Council today approved conclusions stressing the importance of integrating a stronganti-corruption perspectiveinto all development efforts.
The negative economic impact of corruption is estimated to be nine times global official development assistance (ODA).
Corruption erodes democracy, trust in institutions, the rule of law, and the realization and exercise of human rights. It is also a major obstacle to poverty eradication because it hits the poor and the most vulnerable people and groups hardest. It also exacerbates inequalities and disproportionately affects women, girls and people with disabilities. Furthermore, corruption supports the existence of organized crime and negatively affects security and stability at all levels.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained resources and has once again highlighted the importance of effective control of public expenditures. Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine has contributed to a global food and energy crisis, exacerbating already growing inequalities. In this context, the Council believes that it is more and more urgent Adopt a whole-of-government approach to combating corruption whenever and wherever it occurs, to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most and is used in the most effective way possible.
The Council considers that le blanchiment de capitaux, l’évasion fiscale et la corruption internationale constitute a considerable part of the illicit financial flows. Therefore, implementing greater transparency in corporate ownership, supporting efforts to locate, freeze and recover stolen assets, and strengthening anti-money laundering regimes, as well as transparency of beneficial ownership and rules on incompatibilities and conflicts of interest, lobbying and pantouflage, are important elements of the fight against corruption.
In light of the above, the Council stresses the importance of integrating a strong anti-corruption dimension into all development efforts and in interrelated sectors such as health, education, employment, energy security and the fight against climate change. This is particularly crucial in public financial management and in contexts where corruption is widespread and recognized as a major impediment to sustainable development, such as conflict and crisis, public procurement, extractive industries, and large-scale infrastructure projects.
The Council calls on the Commission and the High Representative to adopt anintegrated and more strategic approachof the EU towards preventing and fighting corruption as an obstacle to poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The Council also invites the Commission services, the EEAS and the Member States to step up their efforts to combat illicit financial flows (FFI), including funds obtained through corrupt practices.
The Council invites the Commission services and the EEAS to regularly inform the Council of progress by ensuring that the existing information mechanisms take into account EU measures that contribute to reducing corruption in a broad sense.