Corruption Rampant in Europe, Study Shows

There is a dramatic update regarding how widespread the problem of corruption is across Europe. In short, the news is not good.

As reported by BBC News, a survey conducted by the European Commission finds that the scope of the problem is “breathtaking,” and is costing the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually – and probably much more, according to the EU Home Affairs Commissioner.

Countries including Spain and Greece showed a startlingly high response from those who say corruption affects them in their daily lives (50-59 percent). Romania and Croatia also ranked high (40-49 percent) in a Eurobarometer poll.

For the record, the European Commission study focused on the apparent low incidence of corruption in Sweden. The article puts an emphasis on the “Swedish Model” as an example for improving the impact of anti-corruption measures: “Sweden 'is undoubtedly one of the countries with the least problems with corruption, and other EU countries should learn from Sweden's solutions for dealing with the problem', Ms Malmstroem said, pointing to the role of laws on transparency and openness.”

The article points out that the responsibility to combat corruption lies mostly among national governments, as opposed to the EU as a body. However, the widespread nature of the problem is a reminder that companies must protect themselves. They cannot rely solely on law enforcement, government regulations or other official help when it comes to safeguarding their business from corruption.

We've written about corruption often in FraudInsider, and that's not by accident: the subject is a special focus for CRI Group's experts in the field. Our due diligence services provide increased protection from corruption issues at all levels: local, regional and international.

As part of our anti-corruption services, we offer our own exclusive strategy: 3PRM™, or Third-Party Risk Management, provides a proactive approach to mitigating risks from third-party affiliations, protecting an organization from liability, brand damage and harm to business. The key to 3PRM’s effectiveness lies with our investigators, who use all means necessary to establish the legal compliance, financial viability and integrity levels of existing and potential business partners.

The news about corruption in European is eye-opening, but we shouldn't be naïve. The problem is not limited to Europe – we can be sure that it is just as bad, and in some places, worse, around the world. The best and only effective strategy is preparedness and being proactive in the face of it.