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Representation in Ireland
News article3 May 2023Representation in Ireland1 min read

Anti-corruption: Stronger rules to fight corruption in the EU and worldwide

The European Commission took decisive action today to fight corruption in the EU and worldwide, delivering on the commitment made by President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union address.

Left to right: Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vĕra Jourová, Margaritis Schinas, Ylva Johansson

The set of measures proposed today include new and strengthened rules criminalising corruption offences and harmonising penalties across the EU, as well as a proposal from the High Representative, supported by the Commission, to establish a dedicated Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) sanctions regime to target serious acts of corruption worldwide.

These new measures place a strong focus on prevention and creating a culture of integrity, in which corruption is not tolerated and at the same time, strengthen enforcement tools.

Corruption is a global, transnational phenomenon that is estimated to cost the world at least 5% of its GDP. Corruption undermines democracy, the rule of law, human rights, peace and international security and sustainable development, at the same time that hinders the achievement of SDGs, in Europe and worldwide. This is why, in parallel to the Commission’s initiatives to strengthen the fight against corruption within the EU, I am proposing to establish a new CFSP sanctions regime targeting serious acts of corruption worldwide, to complement our external anti-corruption toolbox.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell


Serious acts of corruption pose a grave risk to democracy and the rule of law. Corruption often goes unpunished particularly when linked to those in power. Today, we propose to expand the EU’s sanctions toolbox, to enable us to act and target those responsible for serious acts of corruption worldwide, no matter where they occur.

Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union

For More Information

Commission press release

Questions and Answers: Stronger rules to fight corruption in the EU and worldwide

Factsheet: Strengthening EU action to fight corruption

Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the fight against corruption

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating corruption by criminal law

Webpage on the fight against corruption


Publication date
3 May 2023
Representation in Ireland