Roofs and towers of old Riga in a cold winter evening light


Two days before the  Eastern Partnership Summit, the civil society organised a conference in Riga to discuss Georgia’s progress of implementation of the Association Agenda with the European Union so far. The event was organised by the Georgian and Latvian …

Posted 19 May 2015 LATEST POST No Comments

EU Neighbourhood Policy


EU institutions’ unregulated lobbying opens door to corruption

Political participation is a fundamental element in mature democratic systems, and governments should ensure that decisions are taken in the interests of citizens. Unfortunately, money and inside contacts often seem to be necessary to open the doors behind which policy-makers …

Posted 6 May 2015 1 Comment

EU Lobbying


Gazprom, AirFrance, Twitter, etc. 1552 organisations suspended from EU Lobby Register

On 28 April the deadline expired for all organisations on the EU Transparency Register to perform an update of their registration. Organisations that did not update were suspended and no longer appear in the public database of the Transparency Register. …

Posted 30 Apr 2015 No Comments

EU Lobbying


European Public Prosecutor: do EU member states miss the point?

With the European Parliament’s plenary debate and vote on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) due this week, one may wonder if and when the EU machinery will start discussing the real “hot potatoes” at stake! As …

Posted 28 Apr 2015 No Comments

EU Anti-Corruption, EU Criminal Law & Fundamental Rights

Speak Up against corruption

Europe’s heroes under fire: blowing the whistle on corruption… or better not?

Exposing corruption, maladministration and mismanagement can be a dangerous route to take! Nicole-Marie Meyer, who reported evidence of embezzlement and forgery for example, was first demoted, then harassed and ultimately dismissed from the French Civil Service, although her actions were …

Posted 22 Apr 2015 No Comments

EU Anti-Corruption, EU Criminal Law & Fundamental Rights


Video EP Hearing: Transparency and Integrity in the EU Institutions

On 26 March 2015, Transparency International EU (TI EU) was invited to take part in a public hearing held at the European Parliament to present the findings of the European Union Integrity System report, released in April 2014 (you can …

Posted 8 Apr 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EUIS Study

Latvian National Library in Riga with Presidency logo - photo and copyright by Aris Jansons

Latvian Council Presidency: Of baking bread and edging tools

The logo of the Latvian Presidency is based on the classic image of the grinding stone, once a significant innovation and trigger of change in households across Europe. The Latvian Presidency website explains that to this day the grinding stone …

Posted 25 Mar 2015 No Comments


EP hearing poster

EP hearing on accountability, transparency and integrity 26/3 9:00

TI EU was invited to present the findings of our 2014 European Union Integrity System report (EUIS) at a European Parliament hearing on Thursday morning (26 March 9:00). The title of the hearing was “Joint Hearing on accountability, transparency and …

Posted 24 Mar 2015 No Comments


© European Union 2014 - European Parliament

Assessment of the transparency and anti-corruption efforts of the Italian Presidency

How did the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU contribute to the fight against corruption? Transparency International finds that while Italy gave a high profile to transparency and anti-corruption over a six month period, national governments failed to …

Posted 16 Mar 2015 No Comments



What’s the real influence of lobbyists in Brussels?

Napoleon would have probably made a good EU lobbyist, considering that he was, already at his time, aware of the fact that “ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousands who are silent.” Today, however, Bonaparte would no …

Posted 12 Mar 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Anti-Corruption, EU Criminal Law & Fundamental Rights, EU Lobbying


Bad news for Juncker’s Investment Plan

Despite our efforts, other civil society organisations and MEPs, the European Investment Bank has adopted a revised transparency policy this week that takes a leap backwards. As we have said previously, the EIB’s important role demands that transparency and accountability …

Posted 11 Mar 2015 No Comments

Access to EU Documents, EU Integrity System, EU Lobbying, TI EU Office, Uncategorized


Letter to the editor of the Telegraph

We like journalists here at Transparency International. They are, on the whole, an honourable breed doing thankless work to impossible deadlines in an industry that finds it harder and harder to pay them a living wage. So when an article …

Posted 5 Mar 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System


EU Institutions drag their feet and still fail to protect whistleblowers

When cases of corruption, fraud or maladministration come to light it often took a courageous whistleblower. Someone from within has alerted the authorities, the media or the wider public that something is not quite right. Luxleaks, Swissleaks the revelations of …

Posted 4 Mar 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Anti-Corruption, EU Integrity System


Collaborate and visualise

There’s been Swissleaks, Luxleaks, NSA leaks and Yanukovychleaks. There are stories about shell companies buying up New York, Petrobras bribery investigations and politicians laundering their money. There is the ICIJ, the GIJN, the BIJ, and the OCCRP (to name but …

Posted 24 Feb 2015 1 Comment

European Corruption Observatory


UK ‘Cash-for-access’ scandal: lessons for the EU institutions

A new scandal broke in the UK yesterday, with two former foreign secretaries being caught on camera by undercover journalists appearing to offering their contacts and access in return for payment. The journalists introduced themselves on behalf of a fictitious …

Posted 24 Feb 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EU Lobbying

Carl Dolan and Commissioner Georgieva

New Commission: so far, so good?

With anything between 15-30,000 lobby organisations in Brussels vying for the attention of policy makers, it can often be a challenge just to get a meeting and get your story heard. Which is why it was a nice surprise last …

Posted 19 Feb 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Budget


The reality of being a whistleblower

Popular culture often idealises whistleblowers. They are portrayed as heroes fighting for truth, rights, even life, in battles reminiscent of David and Goliath. They are celebrated as defenders of humanity who should be protected and rewarded for their courage. The …

Posted 12 Feb 2015 2 Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, European Corruption Observatory


Lobby Register: when is mandatory mandatory?

European Commission VP Frans Timmermans attended an open group meeting of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament yesterday (4 Feb), answering questions. MEP Sven Giegold pressed him on the suggested legal basis for the mandatory lobby register. See the …

Posted 5 Feb 2015 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EU Lobbying

European Investment Bank

EIB – Regression Postponed

We have blogged here before on the attempt by the European Investment Bank to roll back on transparency commitments when revising its official transparency policy late last year. The revisions include a number of regressive measures, including a blanket presumption …

Posted 4 Feb 2015 No Comments

Access to EU Documents, Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Financial Sector, Uncategorized

Picture london sky line - canary wharf at dusk

Banking Transparency: Managing Risks, Maximizing Opportunity

On November 06 at the European Parliament as part of the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC), we organized an event on the Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRDIV) that obliges credit institutions and investment firms  to disclose key financial information on a country-by-country …

Posted 21 Jan 2015 No Comments

EU Corporate Integrity, EU Financial Sector

Amazon's corporate structure in Europe

How country-by-country reporting could have made Lux Leaks unnecessary

The lux leaks saga moved up a couple of gears last week. First of all, a large number of MEPs broke ranks with their leadership to publicly back a European Parliament committee of enquiry into the so-called ‘sweetheart deals’ that …

Posted 20 Jan 2015 1 Comment

EU Corporate Integrity, Uncategorized

Slow down road sign

Time for a ‘slow politics’ movement

The need for speed has led to a number of political innovations, most notoriously the ‘trilogue’ process This opinion piece was published in the EU Observer – read it here  Conversation overheard between two senior Commission officials: Official 1: “Things …

Posted 15 Jan 2015 No Comments


Money laundering

The EU can lead the way in the fight against money laundering

On December 09th, International Anti-Corruption Day, the Vice-Chair of Transparency International, Elena Panfilova, visited Brussels to open our photo exhibition “Corruption in Focus” at the European Parliament. Her visit could not have been timelier. Last week the EP approved the …

Posted 15 Dec 2014 No Comments

EU Anti-Money Laundering

Elena Panfilova

Video: Concerns for EU in Transparency International corruption index

Elena Panfilova, Vice-Chair of Transparency International,debates corruption issues in the EU with Dusko Lopandic, Serbian Ambassador to the EU and Ana Gomes, Portuguese Socialist Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Among the issues …

Posted 12 Dec 2014 No Comments



International Anti-Corruption Day: Critical Moment to Tackle Money Laundering

On International Anti-Corruption Day, Transparency International EU highlights that the EU is at a critical moment to tackle illicit financial flows. The final negotiation meeting for the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive approaches on 16 December, which could require …

Posted 9 Dec 2014 No Comments

EU Anti-Money Laundering

REDD+ thumbnail

Safeguarding against corruption: the EU and REDD+

This week the global climate change negotiations are kicking off in Lima, Peru. The 196 countries which have signed up to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which includes the EU and all its Member States, will come …

Posted 3 Dec 2014 No Comments

EU Climate Finance, Uncategorized


Corruption Perceptions Index 2014: EU’s role in facilitating global corruption

  In the 20th edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), four out of the top five performing countries are European (Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway). However Europe cannot be complacent about the role it plays in facilitating corruption elsewhere. …

Posted 3 Dec 2014 No Comments


Kangaroos Australian outback

How to survive in the outback

Dear President van Rompuy and President Juncker, While out in Australia at the G20 meeting this weekend I am sure you will have been warned about the dangers of the outback and are taking a few precautionary measures to survive. …

Posted 13 Nov 2014 No Comments

EU Anti-Money Laundering, Uncategorized


EU Integrity Watch: facts vs fiction

EU Integrity Watch, a user-friendly database that allows the public to better monitor potential conflicts of interests or to identify those MEPs with a large number of outside activities.

Posted 10 Nov 2014 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EU Lobbying


Commission gives green light to tax transparency for banks

Since the global financial crisis all parts of society have been asked, in different ways, to contribute to the necessary measures to face the new challenges. The need to prevent such a financial, economic and social catastrophe from happening again …

Posted 31 Oct 2014 No Comments



New EU Commission should walk the talk of transparency in its enlargement negotiations

Author: Tinatin Ninua, TI Secretariat  On 1 November the new European Commission will officially commence its work for a five year term. The new college of 27 commissioners, led by President Jean Claude Junker, has committed to place transparency at …

Posted 31 Oct 2014 1 Comment

Access to EU Documents, EU Enlargement, Uncategorized

Changes to the EIB’s transparency rules are a step backwards
(Source: Commons Wikimedia)

EIB transparency must move forward not back

As the hearings for nominee European Commissioners continue this week, it’s time for Jyrki Katainen, former Prime Minister of Finland, to be put in the hot seat by the European Parliament.  Provided the Parliament give their green light, Mr Katainen …

Posted 7 Oct 2014 2 Comments

Access to EU Documents, Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Anti-Corruption, EU Budget, EU Development, EU Integrity System, EUIS Study, TI EU Office, Uncategorized

Jean-Claude Juncker and Alenka Bratušek
Source: European Commission

Outgoing Prime Minister nominates herself for European Commissioner

The Slovenian Commission for the prevention of corruption (CPC) has started an investigation on possible conflicts of interest of outgoing Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek in the procedure for naming Slovenia’s candidates for European Commissioner. The candidacy and confirmation of the …

Posted 3 Oct 2014 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Anti-Corruption, EU Integrity System


The state of transparency in the Council of the EU

This week the Council of the EU adopted new rules on the financing of European political parties and new transparency rules on the non-financial reporting of big companies. We had evaluated the progress on these two directives, inter alia, in …

Posted 2 Oct 2014 1 Comment

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Financial Sector, EU Political Parties, Uncategorized

Pledge teaser

European Parliament Elections 2014: The Anti-Corruption Pledge

To view an updated list of the Anti-Corruption Pledge’s signatories please click here. The Transparency International EU Office, together with many of our national chapters around the EU, has been inviting MEPs elections to sign our Anti-Corruption Pledge 2014 - and …

Posted 1 Oct 2014 Comments Off

EU Anti-Corruption, European Elections 2014

Jean-Claude Juncker and Miguel Arias Cañete
Source: European Commission

Ethics and the European Commission: will Juncker practise what he preaches?

The Commission needs a reformed ethics regime to manage conflicts of interest In his so-called ‘mission letters’ to nominee European Commissioners, Jean-Claude Juncker stresses the principles of ethics and transparency as central to the functioning of the institution.  Under his …

Posted 1 Oct 2014 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EUIS Study, Uncategorized

Public account of the Supervisors for the construction of the Parthenon

A tale of two Presidencies

Last week, together with our colleagues from Transparency International Greece we presented our Scorecard for the Greek Presidency in Athens. Now seems like a good time to assess how this Presidency compares to its predecessor: Lithuania spent €62 million for …

Posted 29 Sep 2014 No Comments



Assessment of the transparency and anti-corruption efforts of the Greek Presidency

How much did the Greek Presidency of the EU do to fight corruption? Transparency International finds that while Greece gave the issue a high profile over a six month period, there was a collective failure on the part of national …

Posted 23 Sep 2014 No Comments

TI EU Office, Uncategorized


The revolving door keeps on spinning: it’s time for ex-MEPs to cool off!

The recent furore over the former chair of the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), Sharon Bowles, taking up a position as a non-executive director at the London Stock Exchange is yet another example of the revolving door …

Posted 1 Sep 2014 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EU Lobbying, EUIS Study

Money 2

How much does an MEP make?

The 3rd of July was the deadline for members of the European Parliament to submit their declarations of financial interest. By the end of the first plenary all MEPs, old or new, had to submit a range of information on …

Posted 4 Aug 2014 2 Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Anti-Corruption, EUIS Study


Juncker’s plans for lobbying Transparency: meaningful or meaningless?

Laying out his objectives as European Commission President for the next 5 year term, Jean-Claude Juncker has indicated he might be ready to take the Transparency bull by the horns. Outlining his agenda for ‘democratic change’, Mr Juncker has committed …

Posted 30 Jul 2014 No Comments

EU Integrity System, EU Lobbying, Uncategorized


Transparency International applauds Ombudsman inquiry into EU whistleblower rules

Transparency International EU welcomes the inquiry launched by the European Ombudsman today into  the level of protection for whistleblowers in EU institutions. Noting that effective whistleblowing policies can help reduceopportunities for corruption, Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has asked nine EU institutions, including …

Posted 28 Jul 2014 1 Comment

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System

BY giveawayboy (flickr) | CC BY 2.0

Time for the Italian Presidency to tackle corruption and rejuvenate Europe

As Matteo Renzi delivered a passionate speech to the European Parliament on June 2 to mark the occasion of Italy’s accession to the Presidency of the EU there was just for once a hint of glamour and a certain “Yes …

Posted 23 Jul 2014 No Comments

EU Anti-Corruption, EU Anti-Money Laundering, EU Criminal Law & Fundamental Rights, EU Trade


EU Commission President: Jobseekers’ allowance

Securing the job of official candidate for President of the European Commission is a tough gig: that much we’ve learned from the last few weeks of horse-trading, finally culminating in today’s vote by the European Parliament on Jean-Claude Juncker’s appointment. …

Posted 15 Jul 2014 No Comments

Ethics in EU Institutions, EU Integrity System, EUIS Study, Uncategorized


The EP has reached an agreement on the 4th AML Directive

On 20 May the European Parliament gave its final approval for the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which requires the creation of centralised registers of beneficial owners – the real persons who have ultimate control – of a company or trust. …

Posted 26 May 2015 No Comments



Dataharvest – Cooperation and Anti-Corruption

On May 9-10th we attended the Dataharvest conference here in Brussels, an annual conference organised by, that brought together just under 300 data coders and journalists (investigative or otherwise) and held 75 different workshops and talks. The keynote speech …

Posted 26 May 2015 No Comments


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