Daniel Freund

28. February 2024 Anti-Corruption

European Parliament: Bribery of MEPs to become an EU-wide criminal offence

On Tuesday (27/02/2020), the European Parliament gave the green light for new rules to combat corruption in the EU. Accordingly, buying political influence and attempting to do so is to become an EU-wide criminal offence. The European rules would therefore go further than the current legislation in Germany on bribery of MPs. The European Parliament is also calling for the publication of lobby meetings and asset declarations to become mandatory for MEPs, members of government and senior civil servants. Violations of transparency rules on party funding should also become a criminal offence throughout Europe. With these demands, the European Parliament is now entering into negotiations with the member states.


Daniel Freund, Green negotiator and chairman of the cross-party anti-corruption working group in the European Parliament, comments:

“We need harmonised rules across the EU to ensure a strong crackdown on corruption. There is still a huge risk in all EU Member States that political influence can be bought in exchange for money and other benefits. This is contrary to democratic principles. The affair surrounding the mask traders in Germany has shown that the perpetrators go unpunished far too often. The European Parliament makes it clear that those who allow themselves to be bought in the exercise of their office or mandate must not go unpunished. We will only effectively combat corruption in the EU if corruption is followed by severe penalties.”


Procedure: green light for trilogue with the Home Affairs Committee position

On January 31, the Committee on Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted its position by a large majority and voted in favour of negotiations with the Council (and the EU Commission) in trilogue format: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-9-2024-0048_EN.html

The plenary has now given the green light for this due to the absence of any objections: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/infos-details.html?id=1237&type=priorityInfo

The Council is still negotiating its position (common position) and is therefore not yet ready for trilogue negotiations.