The Transparency International report of 25 January 2017 concerning EU Member States indicates a significant increase in corruption in Europe. Compared to its the previous annual report, the number of EU Member States scoring below 50 in 2016 increased from four to six (Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Croatia), while other Member States such as the Netherlands and Cyprus also saw their scores fall steeply, showing that corruption remains a real and growing problem in modern European society. While corruption is overshadowed by other, more pressing problems, it is further undermining public confidence in our democratic institutions and the functioning of EU Member States, thereby fuelling Eurosceptic and populist propaganda.
In view of this:
— Can the Commission say what information is available regarding corruption within the EU and what specific public or private sector structures or services are most affected by it?
— What steps and initiatives will it take to contain the problem of corruption?