Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

A 50th birthday present (to the eurosceptics)

How much happier is it possible to make our anti-EU chums than this little story, just a few days after the EU’s damp squib birthday celebrations?

Mass dawn raids over EU ‘Mafia links’

More than 40 dawn raids were carried out in four countries yesterday by police investigating alleged Mafia involvement in European Union security and building contracts worth millions of euros…

The investigation involves suspected bribery of European civil servants, forming a criminal organisation, violating professional secrecy, breaches of public tender laws and forgery

Superb! Nice job, EU-type chaps! We already know that the Commission’s riddled with corruption and that even the EU’s anti-fraud office OLAF is, if not wilfully aiding corruption, then piss-poor at cleaning it up, but this takes the proverbial.

Further EU fraud reading:

– Wikipedia on whistleblower Paul van Buitenen (whose investigations led to the fall of the Santer Commission back in 1999)

– Wikipedia again on the slightly nutty Hans-Peter Martin MEP (who exposed the widespread fiddling of expenses by MEPs)

– The pathetic failure to even attempt to punish ex-Commissioner (and former French Prime Minister) Édith Cresson even after she was found guilty of abusing her position for personal gain (see Case C-432/04 at the European Court of Justice last year – and also the EU Law Blog on the same

– The abysmal treatment of the EU’s former chief accountant Marta Andreasen, who pointed out that the lack of double-entry bookkeeping in the EU institutions (a standard for accounting for centuries) left the place wide open to fraud (her figure of a potential 10,000 cases in 2002 alone, however, being just that: potential; she didn’t try to point to specific examples, just systemic failures that would allow for up to 10,000 cases of fraud a year), only to be suspended for “violating Articles 12 and 21 of staff regulations, failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect” – wonderfully adding to the eurosceptic arsenal of “the EU’s an authoritarian hellhole” missiles

Politics.co.uk on EU budget fraud

Marta Andreasen on “the EU’s culture of corruption”

15 Comments

  1. Come on…double entry has only been recognised as the only adequate system of book-keeping for some five hundred years. You can hardly expect the EU to use one of europe's more startling intellectual inventions.

  2. Bollocks. The only way you can get rid of corruption is to send people to jail. I'm delighted to see this fine example of pan-European cooperation in action.

  3. If the EU did not exist, corruption would still happen.

    The question is, are the benefits of the EU outweighed by the costs? I belive yes. That does not mean that corruption should not be rooted out. I just wonder what role the intergovernmental horse trading and politiking have had in helping to construct such a system in the first place. After all, politicans are noturious for looking after thier own!

  4. The entire situation is depressing beyond belief.

  5. This, whether it ends in a prosecution or not, is hopefully the beginning of the cleaning up of the EU, because without it even europhiliacs like me find it difficult to shout out praises for the EU

  6. This is a step in the right direction. At least this time they are arresting the people suspected of the fraud, rather than a journalist investigating it.

  7. Corruption in the EU may be endemic, due to the structure of its bureaucracy and due to cultural attitudes. The EU's bureaucracy has a very French style, and the French tend to have more issues with corruption than the English or the Germans. The general atitudes in southern states towards personal ethics may also play a role. Better police cooperation can do a lot to combat corruption. But bureaucratic reform and diversifying the EU's labour pool can do more.

  8. On another subject, could you explain if those Brits in Iran are British or European citizens? I see the British government speaking for them, but I thought the EU should be involved, too. Or not — I don't understand.

    What's up over there?

  9. Yank, the EU is involved now. Unfortunately despite the "diplomatic" options it is pursuing nothing short of warfare will resolve the Iran Problem. Honestly, its like they are looking for reasons to give us to invade.

    When the US spyplane was found crashed in China, what did China do? They gave it back and issued the political equivalent of "stop that".

    Iran, they ignore anti-nuclear treaties, they kidnap British sailors, and the population is calling for the "death of Britain", the government wants to destroy Israel, they are fanatics, they supply insurgents in Iraq, they banned all foreign press from the country.

    I'm sorry, its just irritating to not even be able threaten war without some spineless coward here giving a speech on how we have no right. Put it this way, what if those sailors had been American? I can assure you the American people would have been calling for blood, and rightly so.

  10. Yank – there's no such thing as a British citizen, we're all just subjects of the crown. However, every national from an EU member state is now an EU citizen. The EU – in the shape of Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana – has been making a few displeased noises, but most EU countries aren't stupid enough to want to get involved in a spat with Iran, especially one that could jeopardise the limited progress the EU's made on the whole nuclear issue. Plus Britain's probably asked them all to stay well clear – the UK's got more experience of diplomacy in that part of the world than pretty much any other EU member state, so probably doesn't want anyone coming in and titting it up.

    Epi – though I have no interest in the whole Iran thing, calm down, dear. Yes, the country has a nutty president. Yes, there are some nutty people living there. But it's not the kind of drooling, fanatic-filled pit of psychos that some would have us believe (that "some" apparently including much of Iran's leadership, who seem to be following the North Korea schools of international relations, and are trying to make out they're unbalanced so no one messes with them – like the weird kid who nobody talked to at school, because he might just lash out and hit you). This article (though from the piss-poor Independent) gives some indication – as would hopping around some of the links at blogsbyiranians.com.

  11. Nosemonkey – If there's no such thing as a British Citizen, then why have UKPA written that in my passport, and why do citizens of various colonies and dependencies not have the right to a UK passport or residence in the UK?

    Yank – As the EU is still a federation of basically sovereign states (Arguments based on HWR Wade aside), the citizens of the EU are the citizens of its constituent states. The term is to an extent a piece of mummery, as the rights of EU citizens as citizens, rather than migrant workers or consumers of various sorts are fairly limited. I view this situation as unfortunate.

    Epi – Neither the US nor UK have the capacity to unleash another war right now. Targeted commando action may also be unsuccessful.

  12. Im not arguing for an occupation, why not a blockade of all trade goods (or just air strikes)? I know for a fact Iran has to buy Oil as they cant refine enough of it to support their own country. That could be easily exploited.

    They are spoiling for a war.

    Yes Ill calm down in a couple of days. Anyway, back to the EU. Saw a funny article in the Economist predicting the next 50 years of the supra-national organization, they predicted…

    -War with Russia over Ukraine

    -Milliband being the next PM after Gordon Brown (Very possible)

    -Israel joining the EU

    amongst other things…

  13. -War with Russia over Ukraine

    Who would be stupid enough to engage in a war with Russia? That's like a thirteen year old punching a mother bear in the face.

    -Israel joining the EU

    At the same time, Roman Catholicism, all branches of Islam, and Judaism will merge.

  14. Actually, to me, Putin is enough of a throwback to just threaten war over something like that. It did however say the "crisis" would be avoided due to American (the obama administration) pressure.

    On the point of Israel, they didn't introduce the death penalty because it would make joining the EU totally inviable. The topic of the joining the EU was actually very public at one stage. Accession has shown to be a stabilizing factor, countries actively try to join because of that, and its a very effective solution to the current middle-eastern crisis.

    Anyway, they are just predictions, strange the economist would include something like that though.

  15. Thanks folks. I am still confused, but I guess that's nothing new as far as the EU goes with me.