The extent of corruption
in Europe is "breathtaking" and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn
euros (£99bn) annually, the European Commission says.
EU Home Affairs
Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has presented a full report on the
She said the true cost of
corruption was "probably much higher" than 120bn.
Europeans surveyed for the Commission study said that corruption was
widespread, and more than half said the level had increased.
"The extent of the
problem in Europe is breathtaking, although Sweden is among the
countries with the least problems," Ms Malmstroem wrote in Sweden's
The cost to the EU
economy is equivalent to the bloc's annual budget.
For the report the
Commission studied corruption in all 28 EU member states. The Commission
says it is the first time it has done such a survey.
rather than EU institutions, are chiefly responsible for fighting
corruption in the EU.
But Ms Malmstroem said
national governments and the European Parliament had asked the
Commission to carry out the EU-wide study. The Commission drafts EU laws
and enforces compliance with EU treaties.
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