10 June 2011

What is it that fires the continuing enthusiasm of much of the developed world to strengthen processes to counter the undermining influences of corruption – and why is it that New Zealand feels immune to those influences?

Later this month, the annual Brookings/World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators will be published.  Countries are rated on 6 measures indicative of good government. The New Zealand rating has been slipping and last year for the first time moved out of the top ten on all measures. Most countries that rate well are part of the EU.

On 6 June – the anniversary of the Normandy landings and the liberation of Europe from Nazi control – without any overt reference to the symbolism, the EU Commission launched measures to address the serious harm corruption causes to European societies.  The core of the initiative is a mechanism, the EU Anti-Corruption Report, to assess anti-corruption efforts in the EU. Apart from stronger monitoring and implementation of existing legal instruments against corruption, a wide range of actions are to be implemented to strengthen the focus on corruption in all relevant EU policies.

Despite generally effective government across Europe, these countries acknowledge the pervasive threat presented by corruption. Anti corruption measures are essential. The EU will place greater emphasis on corruption in all relevant internal and external policies while concurrently combating corruption in the private sector. And the effectiveness of measures in each member state will be evaluated.