Corruption and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: How the EU will meet global anti-corruption targets

9 May, 2016

Transparency International and ONE in cooperation with the State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia would like to invite you to our event on 25 May 2016 to share in an open discussion on Goal 16 ambition in Europe. We invite you to join this engaging dialogue and to share your insights and inspiration with a distinguished panel of experts from civil society, and government.

The event will be held from 18:00 to 20:30 at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia on Rue Montoyer 47, Brussels, followed by reception. Participation is open to the public with registration. To register please respond to by 22 May 2016.


18:00 Registration and refreshments
18:30 Welcoming statement, Tanja Baerman, Head of International Affairs, State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia
18:40 High level panel discussion

Moderator: Carl Dolan, Director, Transparency International EU

Cobus De Swardt, Managing Director, Transparency International

Eloise Todd, Global Policy Director, ONE

Karl Falkenberg, Senior Adviser for Sustainable Development, European Political Strategy Centre

Linda McAvan, Chair, Committee on Development, European Parliament

19:40 Open dialogue with audience
20:30 Closing remarks


The recent Panama Papers scandal has revealed the extent of the offshore industry and the corruption that fuels it. Governments around the world have been prodded into action and have called for global efforts to clamp down on corruption, calls that will be echoed in the conclusions of David Cameron’s global anti-corruption summit in London on 12 May.

Fortunately, a global framework for this action already exists. Unprompted by leaks or scandals, governments around the world have committed themselves to a more hopeful vision of the future by endorsing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, goals which for the first time contain clear targets for the reduction of bribery, corruption and illicit financial flows.

The global resolve to adopt the sustainable development goals provides a meaningful trajectory for societies across the globe to achieve human development, economic growth and environmental protection. These goals are universal and transformative – all countries, both in the developed and developing world, have committed to implement them domestically.

Goal 16 promotes peace, justice and strong institutions. Some key commitments include substantially reducing corruption and illicit financial flows, developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions, and strengthening access to information and participation in public decision-making. Delivering on these goals now demands action to refine targets to measure progress and ensure processes for monitoring and accountability. It requires further political commitment and action to enable resources, policies for change and of progress. This call to action is global, regional, national and local and invites all actors – public, private and civil society – to embrace the challenges and opportunities of implementation and mobilising resources. This needs to start in the EU.

The EU has already show excellent leadership on fighting corruption such as making extractive companies more transparent. Currently, a legislative proposal is being considered in the EU to oblige all companies to report their taxes on a country-by-country basis. This is the kind of win-win legislation that can deliver the transparency needed to fight corruption and illicit financial flows in both North and South.

The European Commission’s Special Advisor for Sustainable Development will present his vision of how the EU can deliver on the sustainable development goals in June 2016. This policy dialogue will explore how the EU institutions, in partnership with Member States, can lead the world in setting and delivering ambitious anti-corruption goals as part of the UN process, ensuring that scandals like Panama Papers are a thing of the past.

Key questions will include:

  • How will the EU demonstrate coherence in the many external policies – development assistance, trade and investment, corporate accountability policies – that can have an impact on corruption around the world?
  • What impact will the UN SDGs have on the EU’s monitoring of progress in rule of law and anti-corruption in Member States, for example through the EU Anti-Corruption report, monitoring arrangements for Bulgaria and Romania, and the Rule of Law monitoring mechanism that has just been invoked for Poland?
  • How can the EU leverage domestic laws, such as the current proposal being discussed on country-by-country reporting of tax information by multinationals companies, to deliver for SDG16?
  • How does the commitment to more accountable and transparent institutions mean for policy-making and spending by the EU institutions themselves?


Related Projects

Anti-Corruption Advocacy for Sustainable Development

Fighting corruption for a sustainable future

Want to know more? Get in touch

Alison Coleman

Policy Officer - Anti-Corruption in Development