"Corruption is really a problem for all of us", writes Malström, as "the reports shows plainly that no country in Europe is spared", although, "the corruption situation is different in every country."
The report, adds Malmström,
examines the areas in each EU country, including Sweden, where the problem of corruption is the bigger, and makes suggestions on what could be done. In some countries, it could mean that the procedures for public procurements are too vulnerable to frauds. Elsewhere, the main problem is the political parties' financing, or the spreading of corruption at the municipal level, or that patients have sometimes to pay under the table to get proper medial care. In many parts of Europe, there are rules in place, but they are not always followed.The present social and economical context share some responsibility in the wide spread of corruption and its huge cost, according to the report:
The financial crisis has put additional pressure on Europeans and their governments. In the face of the current economic challenges both in Europe and elsewhere, stronger guarantees of integrity and transparency of public expenditure are required. Citizens expect the EU to play an important role in helping Member States to protect the licit economy against organised crime, financial and tax fraud, money laundering and corruption, not least in times of economic crisis and budgetary austerity. Corruption alone is estimated to cost the EU economy EUR 120 billion per year, just a little less than the annual budget of the European Union.