170504, LIBE on 2nd Anti-Corruption Report
After the disappointing answers by EU-Commissioner Frans Timmermans in the AFCO-session given to MEP Sven Giegold on 3 May 2017 about the suspension of publication of the 2nd EU Anti-Corruption Report (already delayed since Spring 2016) a more positive outcome could be observed in the LIBE-meeting a day later.
Thanks to information collected by Cornelia Spörl (Research Associate, specializing in Anti-Corruption, University of Cologne, Germany), and forwarded to Michel van Hulten, we can see and hear the LIBE follow-up on the EU Anti-Corruption Report which gives a more positive picture of the situation as seen from the EP-Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (4 May 2017). Go to → Video streaming of the session via the multi-device player – original language, minutes 2:30:45 – 3:09:54 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170502IPR73025/committee-on-civil-liberties-justice-and-home-affairs-04052017-(am)
The Deputy Director-General for Security Oliver Onidi represented the European Commission and answered questions by the LIBE. During the comparatively intense discussion it was made very clear that the discontinuation of the EU Anti-Corruption Report is „totally unacceptable“ for the EP. Onidi stressed the Commission’s intention to keep anti-corruption a priority and explained that the European Semester is „the most effective instrument at hand to induce change“ regarding corruption. He announced the publication of country-specific recommendations on the 17th of May.
However, the EP did not approve of the new approach taken by the Commission. They pointed out that corruption is a „deeply political issue“, which needs a political debate in the EP. Furthermore, it does not only impact the economy and finance but also democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights – dimensions which could not be addressed by the Semester. Finally, the decision-making process by the Commission was criticized and a much more vast discussion on the need for continuation of the report was demanded. Hence, another follow-up on the EU-Anti Corruption Report was announced.