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Michael Wiehen, Foreword in:

Diana Schmidt-Pfister, Sebastian Wolf (Ed.)

International Anti-Corruption Regimes in Europe, page 7 - 12

Between Corruption, Integration, and Culture

1. Edition 2010, ISBN print: 978-3-8329-5846-6, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-2573-9, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845225739-7

Series: Schriftenreihe des Arbeitskreises Europäische Integration e.V., vol. 70

Bibliographic information
7 Foreword Michael Wiehen Anti-corruption regimes in European countries are characterised by a great variety of activities, reflecting largely the different state and trajectories of development. Western European industrial exporting countries have focused mostly on harnessing the supply side of corruption, while European Union (EU) accession countries have been under severe pressure from Brussels to bring primarily the demand-side of corruption under control. The Commonwealth of Independent States countries are pretty much on their own in combating corruption, fighting primarily for their image in international rankings and judgment, in the belief that a better image will lead to more foreign direct investment and better access to international financial systems. There is a need to bring together academics and practitioners from several countries to analyse the various experiences, the achievements and the failures of the many different approaches to corruption fighting in Europe. The interdisciplinary conference on ‘International Anti-Corruption Regimes in Europe’, organised on 24 July 2009 at the University of Konstanz, as well as this compilation of the resulting articles and study reports, present a valuable step in this direction. The awareness of the damage caused by corruption and of the risks the corrupt exporter incurs has indeed grown significantly over the last 15 years, and the assessment of corruption levels has become a standard procedure for governments and aid agencies, but has turned out to be especially relevant for cross-border manufacturing and financial investors. ‘Measuring corruption’ however has turned out to be a controversial subject, considering both that corruption cases are characterised by opacity and that the international community has not yet fully come to grips with structuring the tremendous variety of behaviour that is called ‘corrupt’. It is recognised that assessments of corruption and the subsequent rankings of countries and business sectors based on ‘perception’ (as in the Corruption Perceptions Index, or CPI, and in other assessment tools organised by Transparency International) raise frequent questions as to their robustness and reliability and yet they still are the most practical analytical tool available at the present time. ‘Victimisation studies’ (as developed by the Basel Institute on Governance) may be developing as a powerful additional instrument, but current results are not yet truly convincing. One of the problems encountered in measuring corruption is the very broad range of criminal activities subsumed under the heading of ‘corruption’, from the straight bribery of a state minister to carry out a large investment project that no citizen needs, to tainted political party campaign financing, and down to the small gift of a parent to a hospital administrator to get a child admitted to the hospital for an urgent operation, or the hidden transfer of cash to a police officer to avoid receiving a citation for speeding, 8 not to speak of the payment to the border customs officer who will not release, without a ‘facilitation payment’, construction machinery that is needed urgently for carrying out a legitimate project. The use of such terms as ‘grand corruption’ and ‘petty corruption’ does not really help, international comparisons are difficult, and one would hope that clearer definitions of the various activities understood to be ‘corruption’ would be developed soon. Additional research to develop a more robust analytical tool to measure local and national status and trends in corruption is urgently required, and it is hoped that such efforts will be forthcoming in the near future. Existing international monitoring programmes (such as by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development / OECD for the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, by the Group of States against Corruption within the Council of Europe, or by the EU and the United Nations) vary in their approaches and their effectiveness, and much has been written about their achievements and failures. It is clear by now that only an effective mandatory monitoring regime has a chance to cajole member states into compliance with their international obligations, and even where a mandatory regime exists (as in the OECD Convention), success is slow and quite spotty. The difficulties encountered in the effort to come to grips with the BAE case in the United Kingdom demonstrate the range of issues and interests encountered as roadblocks in this context, from weak political will to perceived national security issues. Clearly, monitoring and enforcement instruments and regimes both at the international and national levels need to be significantly strengthened. Unfortunately, the United Nations Convention against Corruption did not, despite valiant efforts by civil society, provide from the outset for a mandatory monitoring regime, and current efforts to design an effective monitoring structure have not yet succeeded. Clearly, Western governments still could do a lot more to better control the supply of corruption by their exporting enterprises. While early corruption court cases, especially in the United States, had focused on the bribery of senior officials and politicians in other countries, more recent prosecution cases, especially in Europe, have pursued the violation of traditional national corruption legislation (albeit often related to export contracts). This is obviously related to the difficulties the prosecutors encounter in mobilising adequate evidence of criminal violations by their export companies in other countries. International legal assistance has become somewhat more efficient among the prosecutors and courts of EU Member States, but beyond the EU borders legal assistance cases are notoriously slow and frustrating. There is an urgent need for streamlining international cooperation in this area. Among the various proven instruments of effective corruption fighting, the debarment of corrupt companies has significant scope for broader use by European governments and the EU. The active debarment practice of the World Bank is a useful model that could be applied by national governments and the European Commission as well. The reluctance of governments to debar companies upon evidence less than ‘res judicata’ (in contrast to the ‘more likely than not’ test applied by the World Bank) is unnecessarily restrictive, provided the entire debarment procedure complies fully with the rule of law. 9 Another useful instrument recently developed by Transparency International, that already has demonstrated its effectiveness and impact, is the establishment of Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres (ALACs) in more than 50 countries, mostly in Eastern Europe, but also in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Centres demonstrate that people can be motivated to get involved in the fight against corruption if they are provided with simple, credible and viable citizen participation mechanisms to do so. The ALACs provide victims as well as witnesses of corruption with practical assistance to pursue complaints and address their grievances. The ALAC is a citizen participation tool that links the public interest with private incentives for action on the part of the individual. ALACs are particularly useful and effective in countries that have no functioning systems for lodging corruption complaints and charges, and that offer no protection for whistleblowers. In sum, while there is little hard evidence that the substantial efforts that have been made over the last 15 years to combat corruption have led to an actual reduction of corruption, the public awareness of the damage caused by corruption all around has reached significant levels, and the time has come for governments, international institutions, companies and civil society to substantially increase their efforts at monitoring, preventing and punishing corruption both on the supply and the demand side – that is, in all groups of countries. 11 Table of contents Foreword Michael Wiehen 7 Between Corruption, Integration, and Culture: the Politics of International Anti-Corruption Sebastian Wolf and Diana-Schmidt-Pfister 13 Part I The European Dimension International Anti-Corruption Regimes and Corruption Levels in European and Eurasian Post-Communist States Leslie Templeman Holmes 25 Fighting Corruption Abroad. The EU's Good Governance Export Tanja A. Börzel, Yasemin Pamuk and Andreas Stahn 47 Converging EU and US International Anti-Corruption Policies Holger Moroff 69 Part II Political and Legal Instruments E pluribus unum? The Global Anti-Corruption Agenda and its Different International Regimes Anja P. Jakobi 87 Monitoring Procedures of the International Fight against Corruption in the Light of Public Law Gefion Schuler 105 Part III Culture, Perceptions, and Experiences Mismatches between Corruption Perception, Corruption Victimisation, and Anti-Corruption Measures Anne Lugon-Moulin 125 12 Culture, Corruption, and Anti-Corruption Strategies in Post-Communist Europe Åse Berit Grødeland 137 Part IV Practitioners’ Perspectives The Evolution of the Anti-Corruption Industry in the Third Wave of Anti-Corruption Work Bryane Michael and Donald Bowser 161 Citizens’ Participation and Anti-Corruption: the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres of Transparency International and the EU-funded Research Project ‘ALACs’ Ben Elers, Angelos Giannakopoulos and Dirk Tänzler 179 Supporting the Implementation of International Anti-Corruption Initiatives: The German UNCAC Project Georg Huber-Grabenwarter 195 List of Contributors 213

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Zusammenfassung

In dieser aktuellen und interdisziplinären Analyse der internationalen Antikorruptionsregime werden mit Schwerpunkt Europa ausgewählte staatenübergreifende Bemühungen der letzten Jahre zur Eindämmung der Korruption einer kritischen Bestandsaufnahme unterzogen. Die Beiträge stammen aus der Politikwissenschaft, Rechtswissenschaft, Soziologie, Wirtschaftswissenschaft und von PraktikerInnen.

Der Band vereinigt sowohl qualitative als auch quantitative Analysen und berücksichtigt darüber hinaus kulturwissenschaftliche Fragestellungen im Rahmen seiner vier Teile: „The European Dimension“, „Political and Legal Instruments“, „Culture, Perceptions, and Experiences” sowie „Practitioners’ Perspectives”.

Mit Beiträgen von: Tanja A. Börzel, Donald Bowser, Ben Elers, Angelos Giannakopoulos, Åse B. Grødeland, Leslie Holmes, Georg Huber-Grabenwarter, Anja P. Jakobi, Anne Lugon-Moulin, Bryane Michael, Holger Moroff, Yasemin Pamuk, Diana Schmidt-Pfister, Gefion Schuler, Andreas Stahn, Dirk Tänzler, Michael H. Wiehen und Sebastian Wolf.