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European Union: The European Commission proposes a Directive on fight against corruption

Fraud, Bribery & CorruptionEuropean Union: The European Commission proposes a Directive on fight against corruption

In brief

On 3 May 2023, the European Commission presented to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal for a Directive on fighting corruption.

The proposal, which refers to corruption in both the public and private sector, provides for the extension of the list of criminal offenses in each EU Member State to include misappropriation, trading in unlawful influence, abuse of functions, as well as obstruction of justice and unlawful enrichment. In addition, the proposal provides for the increase in the level of applicable sanctions and the harmonization of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

The Commission deemed it necessary to update the current legal framework on the fight against corruption which is considered as fragmented and limited in scope. Indeed, in the Commission’s opinion, the measures introduced at a national level for combating corruption are not sufficiently harmonized, with the consequence that the criminalization of different offenses and the sanctions applicable to them vary significantly among Member States, thus hampering the effective fight against corruption, especially in cross-border cases, which are constantly increasing.

The proposal shall now be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council.

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