Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-jzjqj Total loading time: 0.229 Render date: 2022-08-10T05:30:52.420Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

2 - The European Union policy against corruption in the light of international developments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2011

Patrycja Szarek-Mason
Adam Mickiewicz University
Christina Eckes
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Theodore Konstadinides
University of Surrey
Get access



Since the 1990s, when the negative consequences of corruption on social, political and economic systems came to be widely recognised, combating corruption has become an important international policy problem. In 1998, Brademas and Heimann wrote that ‘after years of being tolerated with a mixture of apathy, cynicism, and denial, corruption is becoming a target of serious international action.’ The prevention and combating of corruption ceased to be a purely domestic policy matter and countries agreed to regulate some aspects of the fight against corruption at the international level.

International cooperation has become particularly urgent in cases of cross-border corruption. Globalisation opened up new frontiers not only for trade and business, but also for corrupt practices. Differences in laws and procedures across countries rendered the prosecution of cross-border corruption difficult for national authorities. The countries were, therefore, compelled to agree upon certain rules facilitating investigation and prosecution to ensure that cross-border corruption was dealt with more efficiently. As a result, the first international initiatives focused on the approximation of offences for the purposes of effective mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Moreover, cooperation between countries made it possible to criminalise certain types of corruption. The primary example here is the bribery of foreign public officials. Individual countries were reluctant to prosecute their own companies which obtained commercial contracts abroad in exchange for bribery as that would put them at an economic disadvantage in comparison with countries that allowed such bribery.

Crime within the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
A European Public Order
, pp. 43 - 75
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Brademas, J. and Heimann, F., ‘Tackling International Corruption. No longer Taboo77 Foreign Affairs (1998) 17–22, at 17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rose-Ackerman, S., Korupcja i rządy (Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego i Wydawnictwo Sic, 2001) 334–8Google Scholar
Heidenheimer, A. J. and Moroff, H., ‘Controlling Business Payoffs to Foreign Officials: The 1998 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention’, in A. J. Heidenheimer and M. Johnston (eds.), Political Corruption: Concepts & Contexts (3rd edn, Transaction Publishers, 2005) 943–59, at 953Google Scholar
Polakiewicz, J., ‘Alternatives to Treaty-Making and Law-Making by Treaty and Expert Bodies in the Council of Europe’, in R. Wolfrum and V. Röben (eds.), Developments of International Law in Treaty Making (Springer, 2005) 245–90, at 286Google Scholar
Gilmore, W. C., Dirty Money: The Evolution of International Measures to Counter Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (3rd edn, Council of Europe Publishing, 2004) 29–46Google Scholar
Shams, H., ‘Using Money Laundering Control to Fight Corruption: An Extraterritorial InstrumentEssays in International Financial & Economic Law No. 27(2000) 43Google Scholar
Monar, J., ‘Justice and Home Affairs in the EU Constitutional Treaty. What Added Value for the “Area of Freedom, Security and Justice”?1 European Constitutional Law Review (2005) 226–46, at 242–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilmore, B., ‘The EU Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant: An Overview from the Perspective of International Criminal LawERA Forum 3 (2002) 144–7, at 145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peers, S., ‘Mutual Recognition and Criminal Law in the European Union: Has the Council Got it Wrong?41(1) Common Market Law Review (2004) 5–36, at 12Google Scholar
Kilchling, M., ‘Tracing, Seizing and Confiscating Proceeds from Corruption (and Other Illegal Conduct) within or outside the Criminal Justice System9(4) European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (2001) 264–80, at 264CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats