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Proposals for sanctions against corrupt oligarchs welcomed but EU institutions still excluded

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On 3 May, the European Commission presented a series of proposals on tackling corruption in Europe. It is essential the EU takes the fight against corruption seriously, particularly, in the wake of the Qatargate scandal and the scale of Russian money in Europe exposed following the invasion of Ukraine. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for strengthened legal framework and investigative tools, greater cooperation between competent authorities and an increased role for the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO).

Daniel Freund MEP, Greens/EFA member of the Civil Liberties Committee and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said: "The EU cannot continue to be the go to getaway spot for criminals, corrupt officials and their dodgy money. That's why it’s welcomed that the Commission is taking action to crack down on corrupt cash in Europe.

“However, if the Commission is serious about the fight against corruption, they should also make far greater use of the rule of law mechanism and better equip the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Commission must stop dragging its feet and bring about an independent EU Ethics Body to ensure that the EU institutions get their own houses in order.

“We need clearer definitions throughout the Union, strengthened cooperation between specialised bodies and better tools for competent authorities to tackle corruption. Definitions and minimum penalties must include politicians. Today's proposal would finally give the EU the opportunity to sanction corrupt officials from Third countries. It is imperative to make broad use of this tool. “The true test of this package will be whether or not Russian oligarchs will still be able to treat the EU as nothing more than a shopping centre, ski resort and marina for their dirty money.”

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