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Effective fight against corruption

Corruption, a criminal category that ranges from bribery of public officials via sports to abuse of power and money laundering of proceeds from crime, is a strong enabler for crime and terrorism, and, as such, it constitutes a threat to security. By creating business uncertainty, slowing processes, and imposing additional costs, it has a negative impact on economic growth.

Although the nature and scope of corruption may differ from one Member State to another, it harms the whole Europe by lowering investment levels, hampering the fair operation of the Internal Market and reducing public finances.

The points where innovative solutions can help are threefold. Firstly, there is a need to estimate the impact of corruption. It refers to social impact, factors that promote or hinder it, impact on vulnerable groups, economic, as well as fiscal and development costs.

Secondly, the role of corruption as an enabler of other crimes deserves analysis as well. Namely, corruption, increasingly facilitated by online services, is a fertile ground for organised criminal activities (human trafficking, smuggling…) and terrorism. For some criminal activities, corruption is an integral part of their modus operandi. Thus, relations with other types of crime should be explored too. Money laundering, closely linked to corruption, deserves special attention.

Thirdly, innovative societal and technological solutions for prevention, detection and investigation of this type of crime are needed, including also the collection of cross-border court-proof evidence. Therefore, activities proposed within this topic should address both societal and technological dimensions of corruption in a balanced way, taking care of the applicable legislation and fundamental rights. The international dimension should be analysed as well, hence both Police and Border Guards Authorities should be involved in the consortia, in order to tackle effectively all aspects of this crime. Due to the specific scope of this topic, international cooperation is encouraged.

Coordination with successful proposals under topic HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-08, HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-09, HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-10, HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01-06 and HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01-07 should be envisaged so as to avoid duplication and to exploit complementarities as well as opportunities for increased impact. This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.