Daniel Freund

3. May 2023 Anti-Corruption

Von der Leyen's anti-corruption package: sanctions for corrupt oligarchs, but still no EU ethics body

Today, the EU-Commission presented a new set of measures to fight corruption. According to the package, the fight against corruption will be an active component of EU programs in the future. The existing standards for criminal offenses and minimum penalties are to be expanded and harmonized across the EU. Accordingly, the purchase of political influence, the abuse of political mandates, and illegitimate enrichment in private and public sectors are to be included in the definition of corruption. The EU Commission is also finally responding to the European Parliament’s call for so-called ‘Magnitsky sanctions’. According to this, sanctions against individuals outside the EU should also be possible in cases of corruption.

Daniel Freund (MEP, Greens), Chair of the European Parliament’s Anti-Corruption Intergroup and member of the Home Affairs Committee, comments:

“The European Union must take the fight against corruption seriously. However, what the EU Commission is presenting today as a major achievement is at best small progress. The EU must no longer be a safe haven for corrupt money. It is right that oligarchs and criminals who have become billionaires through corruption will soon have to face sanctions. But the fight against corruption involves much more than harmonizing definitions or entry bans for Russian oligarchs. If Ursula von der Leyen wants to get serious in the fight against corruption, she has to use the rule of law mechanism not only against Hungary, better equip the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and make sure that lobby rules in the EU institutions are being enforced with an independent ethics body.”

EU Commission press release: 


Questions and answers from the EU Commission on the package: 


The EU must no longer be a safe haven for corrupt money.


The EU can be our best tool in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. But it must also be used in the right way. In the future, the EU should fight corruption much more decisively. That is why I have set up an Intergroup against corruption in the European Parliament.