Political corruption has been a prominent feature of recent elections across the EU. From politicians running on a promise to “clean up politics” to protests against the influence of lobbyists, popular discontent with special interests is rising. Through lobbying, political financing and the “revolving door”, there are numerous channels used by businesses and special interests to sway laws or decisions in their favour. This may skew policy outcomes, reduce corporate taxes, divert subsidies and result in unfair competition.
Transparency is key to ensuring that policymakers do not give preferential treatment to specific interest groups. The increasing public access to important datasets related to lobbying, politicians’ financial interests, political party finance, company ownership or government contracting presents a unique opportunity to pool and structure data with easy-to-use and low-cost online tools for detecting possible conflicts of interest and corruption.
Against this backdrop, the Integrity Watch Europe Project provides law enforcement, citizens, civil society and journalists with a series of online tools for the detection and prevention of political corruption in eight EU Member States : France, Lithuania, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Latvia and the Netherlands. Our versatile technology is based on the EU integrity Watch platform which has significantly contributed to the overall debate in the enhancing the political integrity of the EU institutions.
To effectively prevent, detect, repress and sanction corruption both at the national and European level, national Integrity Watch platforms capture country-specific contexts and available data that allow for cross-border comparisons and connections. The relative ease through which Integrity Watch can be transposed in national contexts provides unrivalled potential to achieve the following aims:
- enable citizens, civil society, and journalists to better hold their elected representatives to account
- support enforcement agencies in their efforts to detect and sanction corruption
- formulate recommendations to address political corruption.
Overview of Integrity Watch Europe platforms:
This project is cofunded by the European Commission and the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), with a contribution by the King Baudouin Foundation (KBF). Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.
This project is funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund – Police