Written Question: How will the Commission ensure that corruption does not increase during the coronavirus crisis?

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 28 January 2021

Question for written answer E-000569/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Abir Al-Sahlani (Renew)

Subject: How will the Commission ensure that corruption does not increase during the coronavirus crisis?

Transparency International has reported that COVID-19 has resulted in an increase in corruption in the EU and globally, and that corruption has occurred in various areas of the pandemic management process. Such corruption includes bribes involving COVID-19 tests, virus treatments and other health services and the public procurement of medicines and services.

Even though Europe performs relatively well, corruption is nevertheless widespread. Elections have been delayed in 11 Member States and serious problems have occurred with regard to the rule of law. Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary have performed worst: their institutions are weak, and there is a real risk of health management being politicised. Poland and Malta have lost seven points on the index in five years.

The principles of the rule of law and democratic institutions must be respected despite the progress of the virus, and the Commission must keep an eye on developments, both within the EU and with our partner countries.

  1. How will the Commission ensure that partnership countries and Member States do not use COVID-19 as an excuse to accumulate power and increase corruption?
  2. What specific measures is the Commission going to take to ensure that corruption does not gain a foothold in the EU? How will the Commission use the tools concerned?
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