Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ANTICORRP Report Summary

Project ID: 290529
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: Sweden

Periodic Report Summary 3 - ANTICORRP (Anticorruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption)

Project Context and Objectives:
ANTICORRP (Anticorruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Re-sponses to the Challenge of Corruption) aims at exploring the factors that promote or hinder the development of effective anticorruption policies and impartial government institutions. ANTICORRP examines what the causes of corruption are, how corrup-tion can be conceptualized, measured and analyzed, what the impact of corruption on societies is and how policy responses can be tailored to deal effectively with this phenomenon. The project currently includes 20 research units in 15 European countries.. Research is conducted using a variety of methods including historical case-studies, large-scale surveys and ethnographical approaches. The project strives to ensure that the research findings are spread to policy makers and the general public by using data visualization tools as well as research-to-policy workshops at different levels and for different target audiences.

The main objectives of the ANTICORRP project are:

1) To propose an encompassing yet precise definition of corruption that clearly differentiates corrupt actions from other types of criminal or ethically problematic actions.
2) To create a panel dataset of indicators allowing the tracing of corruption levels over time by country and region through identifying new indicators documented in the project with established, perception-based ones.
3) To engage in historical and contemporary case study research and qualitative comparisons across cases to explain why countries reach different equilibriums with regard to government accountability and the control of corruption.
4) To explain governance regime change as documented by our time series through global models developed through quantitative comparative analysis.
5) To conduct an extensive survey on monitoring corruption and quality of govern-ance that documents the diversity of contemporary governance landscapes, regulatory frames and anticorruption strategies in the EU and in countries neighboring the EU.
6) To document the impact and cost of corruption through a variety of case studies across the globe.
7) To provide the first systematic study of the impact of EU funds on the governance of recipient countries.
8) To investigate the success or failure of a significant number of anticorruption ‘leaders’ in relation to their empowering contexts.
9) To investigate the success or failure of a significant number of anticorruption pro-jects and analyze what explains variation in outcomes.
10) To disseminate the findings of the project through academic articles, edited books and policy papers.

Project Results:
Between the start of the project in March 2012 and the beginning of the third period, two work packages concluded their work (WPs 1 and 4) and another five WPs (2, 3, 5, 6 and 9) finalized their tasks during this period. Four research WPs (7,8,10,11) are thus still in operation. Some minor deviations have been asked for and accepted, but basically all WPs are working according to the plan set out in Annex 1. Below, we briefly mention some of the findings so far

The results from WP 3 show among other things that corruption leads to lower levels of trust in government, deviation of public spending from sectors less prone to corruption (health and maintenance) to sectors more prone to it (construction), lower levels of tax collection, exclusion of women and minorities, less talent retention or increased levels of “Brain drain”, diminished capacity to innovate and lower ability to absorb EU cohesion funds. The results also show that neither establishing an Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) nor restricting political finance have helped curb corruption in the EU28.

WP 5 and WP11 have conducted a large-scale survey of European regions and an expert survey covering 135 countries. The results, currently reported in over 35 aca-demic article, books and papers and several deliverables, show among other things that transparency, government audits, the separation of politicians’ and bureaucrats’ careers, proportional representation, a larger number of parliamentary parties, and gender equality can reduce corruption, but also specifies when and why these beneficial effects are likely to occur. The results also show the importance of distinguishing between different forms of corruption in order to understand the effectiveness of anti-corruption reforms.

WP 6 has conducted an analysis of the content in four newspapers each in seven countries (France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the UK, Romania, Slovakia), and showed that there is a main difference between well-established democracies (United King-dom and France) and newer democracies (Italy, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Slo-vakia). In the latter countries, the coverage of corruption focuses essentially on political and public administration corruption while in the former countries large space is devoted to international and foreign countries’ corruption and corruption in sport. In all countries major attention is devoted to “grand corruption” while “petty corruption” is almost completely absent. Major differences also emerged between the different types of newspapers, and particularly between financial and tabloid press.
WP8 assesses the impact of corruption on development by focusing on infrastructure through a survey of EU-funded infrastructure projects in the construction sector. Government favoritism and state capture were identified across very different contexts. The existence of “private favourite” with political connections is confirmed for Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Some state agencies seem entirely captured, with all over 50% of their budget going to such firms.
WP 9 focuses on how organized crime affects vulnerable groups, such as victims of trafficking. The report has identified a number of problem areas that still need to be properly addressed by the member states, such as protection of victims of trafficking in human beings in criminal investigation and proceedings; the effective implementation of the rule for non-prosecution and non-application of penalties to victims of trafficking, especially with regards to charges and sanctions related illegal entry and illegal residence; compensation mechanisms to the victims of trafficking; and common action against corruption and human trafficking, which are investigated and prosecuted separately.
WP 10 explores state compliance with and implementation of the CoE rules and standards in the area of political financing, as these are applied in the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) monitoring. The results show that CoE monitor-ing has had some effects in prompting states to expand their regulatory framework in the area of political financing, yet the progress accomplished in this direction has overall been limited. The findings on political financing suggest that a moderate level of regulation is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition in enabling a country to control corruption. High levels of regulation, on the other hand, and a “one size fits all” approach to the choice of national-level rules and standards are likely to be counter-productive.

Potential Impact:
Even though there is only six months left of the project, a substantial amount of re-search remains and the task to synthetize the results their potential impact will be made during the last period. On the WP level, however, a great number of conclu-sions and policy recommendations have already been made and they are presented in the Core of the report.
List of Websites:
The project website offers information about the project, its scope, objectives and research team as well as up-to-date information on the project’s re-search findings and progress.

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