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EU: Corruption costs EU ‘up to €990 billion a year’ – by Ryan Collin

EU Corruption costs: close to  € 1 trillion a year
The EU has a corruption problem that could cost it up to €990 billion a year, according to a study commissioned by the European Parliament and released on Monday.

Corruption in the EU comes in many forms and has multiple economic, social and political effects, according to the Cost of Non-Europe in the Area of Corruption Study by RAND Europe. Based on three scenarios using different methodologies that included both direct and indirect effects, the study found the EU suffers losses in its gross domestic product that range between €179 billion and €990 billion each year.

The figures are much higher than a 2014 estimate by the European Commission of €120 billion. However, the Commission’s study focused only on direct effects of corruption.

“Corruption is a big black hole at the heart of the European economy,” said Carl Dolan, director of Transparency International. “If companies see the public procurement process is rigged then they are not going to take part in that bid and therefore the public loses out because these aren’t competitive tenders.”

The study found that corruption related to public procurement was estimated to cost nearly €5 billion per year. Procurement corruption includes deliberately removing companies from the bidding process so there is only one viable candidate and limiting the amount of time a company has to respond to a tender for a new contract.

To reduce it, RAND Europe suggested that the EU implement a Union-wide e-procurement system, which would bring down the cost of corruption by an estimated €920 million. Another measure to cut corruption would be establishing a European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the study said. Such an office would investigate corruption cases and could reduce corruption costs by €0.2 billion per year.

Read more: Corruption costs EU ‘up to €990 billion a year’ – POLITICO

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