In the midst of EU economic turmoil roiling from the Greek economic crisis and the systemic corruption that led up to and is arguably responsible for it (also discussed by the Task Force for Financial Integrity and Economic Development) Monica Macovei, Romanian MEP to the European Parliament and former Romanian Minister of Justice, offers a refreshing new perspective from the East.  Since being elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Macovei has directed her long-time focus of working to curb corruption at the national level to her newest post at the EU level in Brussels. Her varied leadership positions such as, for example, anti-corruption adviser to the Macedonian Prime Minister, trainer with the European Commission (TAIEX) in the fight against corruption and judicial reform in EU candidate countries, expert on judicial reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Council of Europe, and founding member of the Romanian Chapter of Transparency International, indicate her breadth and depth of experience with regard to anti-corruption measures in her home country and region.

Now, as a Romanian MEP, Macovei has continued her work to fight corruption at the level of the European Parliament and has done so with resounded support and success.  Last year, Macovei spearheaded, gained overwhelming support for and ultimately saw to the European Commission’s adoption of the EU’s Resolution to fight corruption (B7-0481/2011). This anti-corruption Resolution runs the gamut in terms of addressing corruption at the EU level, highlighting that corruption is “an area of particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension”, which is listed by Article 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and recognizing that corruption “undermines the rule of law” and “hampers the economic recovery of Member States hit by the economic and financial crisis.” (B7-0481/2011).  The Resolution calls on the European Commission to move forward with and implement a number of obligations that it had previously agreed to, such as implementing the OECD’s Convention on combatting bribery of foreign officials and meeting its obligations under the UN Convention Against Corruption.  Finally, the Resolution calls on the Commission to highlight the fight against corruption by putting it on the security agenda for future years.

One can surmise from looking at the number of types of corruption that the Resolution addresses, as well as the strong support it received from the European Parliament when it was passed (see video discussion), that corruption is recognized as a problem that crosses national borders and affects not just Member states with a reputation for corruption, but the greater group as well.  This Resolution is a first step towards tackling at the EU level a problem that has shown itself to be both pervasive and crippling for all parties involved.