‘EU society is corrupt,’ says the majority of EU citizens

74% “increasingly believe corruption is widespread in public institutions”

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

Facts4EU.Org unpacks a lengthy, official EU report on corruption and compares to the UK

The results of the official ‘2022 Eurobarometer on Corruption’ are so bad the EU had to bury them in a press release about its enormous ‘Rule of Law’ report, released on Wednesday (13 July 2022).

Corruption can be defined as the abuse of power for private gain. This Eurobarometer survey, running since 2005, was designed to explore the level of corruption perceived and experienced by EU citizens.

Corruption in the EU is a serious concern for its citizens and some of the results are shocking. In this report we have given some comparative numbers for the UK from the 2019 survey report, which was the last one to include the United Kingdom. This report was produced for CIBUK.Org.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Overall in 2022, 74% of EU citizens believe corruption is widespread in public institutions

Some other results :-

  • EU27 - “Corruption is widespread in my country” : 68%
  • UK : 13% (2019)
  • EU27 – “I personally know someone who has taken a bribe” : 11%
  • UK : 5% (the lowest in the EU28 in 2019)

[Source: Latest Eurobarometer study, released Wed 13 July 2022.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

How are the EU27 dealing with this problem?

Here is what the EU Commission said in its general statement:

“In some Member States, investigations and prosecutions into corruption cases are lengthy and judgments still lacking, especially in high-level cases. Public officials are subject to asset and interest disclosure obligations in all Member States, but these vary in scope, transparency and accessibility of disclosed information, as well as in the level and effectiveness of verification and enforcement.”

- EU Commission, 13 July 2022

On Wednesday, (Belgian) EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said:

“The EU will only remain credible if we uphold the rule of law at home and if we continue to reinforce the rule of law culture. I am glad to see that our report contributes to this objective. It helps to drive forward important reforms in the Member States.

“Today we are not only reporting on the rule of law situation, but we are also recommending constructive ways to improve justice systems, step up the fight against corruption, and ensure a free and independent media and strong checks and balances.”

- Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner, 13 July 2022

In September 2019 Mr Reynders was being investigated by Belgian prosecutors for corruption and money-laundering.

Days before he was due to appear before the EU Parliament to become the EU Commission's Justice Commissioner, the Belgian authorities dropped the charges. Mr Reynders always denied any wrongdoing.

Some countries are more corrupt than others

As usual – and as we have pointed out in numerous reports on all aspects of the EU – there are wide disparities between member countries. Here are some examples.

“Corruption is widespread in my country”

  • Greece : 98%
  • Bulgaria : 88%
  • Finland : 17%
  • Denmark : 16%


The EU and "the Rule of Law"

There seem to be more ‘Eurobarometer’ surveys than you can shake a stick at. They are extensive and costly, involving detailed interviews typically with over 30,000 people.

This particular one is interesting because of the EU’s claim to be based on “the Rule of Law”. It becomes hard to square this claim with the fact that an average of three in four EU citizens believe “corruption is widespread in public institutions”.

Presumably this is why there wasn’t an EU Commission press release specifically about this Eurobarometer, as there have been on so many others.

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[ Sources: EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Fri 15 July 2022

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