Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia 'Most Corrupt EU Countries'
Three states in Southeast Europe have been named as the most corrupt countries in the 28-nation bloc, according to a European Parliament study done by RAND Europe and several other organizations and researchers.
Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia top a list where Eastern European countries are all above EU average levels in terms of corruption.
The report calls for the extension of a "CVM-like" mechanism to a number of member states. The so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the two countries and has been applied for years as a prerequisite to their entry into the EU in 2007.
All corruption indices used by the report reveal "a similar pattern where almost the same set of countries show above EU-28 average levels of corruption over time. These countries include Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia."
A European Public Prosecutor's Office should also be established, the report reads.
According to the study, which "looks at the cost of non-Europe in relation to corruption", inability to tackle the phenomenon across the bloc results the loss of nearly EUR 1 T on a yearly basis, or 6.3% of overall GDP.
However, member states vary to a large extent in terms of economic costs of corruption.
"For instance, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Latvia lose almost 15 per cent of their annual GDP due to corruption."
Bulgaria in particular loses up to USD 22 B (22%) ot its gross domestic product every year, according to different indices used in the research paper.
Apart from financial costs, widespread corruption causes greater inequality, higher levels of organized crime, and a weaker rule of law.
Key findings of the report include the following recommendations:
"We predict that a CVM-like mechanism applied to more Member States, in addition to Bulgaria and Romania, could reduce the costs of corruption in GDP terms by around €70bn annually (or around 8 per cent of the overall costs of corruption)
The establishment of an EPPO could reduce the costs of corruption related to EU funds by around €200m annually.
The implementation of a full EU-wide e-procurement system could reduce the costs of corruption risk in public procurement by around €920m each year."
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