Establishing a Common EU Anticorruption Framework: Institutional Enablers and Inhibitors

Albena Kuyumdzhieva

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The European Union is the world’s largest internal market comprising 28 member states and more than 500 million citizens. It is governed by complex regulatory structures which, if abused, can negatively affect the lives of millions of citizens. Whilst recognising the huge ramifications that corruption causes to the political and socio-economic structures of the European Union, this thesis identifies the drivers that have hampered the adoption of a robust common anticorruption approach. The thesis carries out this analysis by focusing on the role of the three main decision-making institutions of the European Union: the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
The research examines whether strong legislative resistance to counter-corruption measures results from a lack of supra-institutional leadership or reflects the reluctance of the Council to initiate and support the conclusion of legally binding anticorruption agreements. It evaluates the reactions of the European Union’s institutions to the need for installing better accountability and transparency standards in three policy cases: the establishment and management of EU decentralised agencies; the adoption of EU criminal antifraud directive and the adoption of regulatory framework for the work of EU lobbyists.
The thesis shows that the European Commission and the European Parliament have committed themselves to boosting the transparency and accountability aspects of the existing governance arrangements, while the Council has exhibited a recurrent reluctance to do so. This demonstrates the Council's desire to maintain the status quo, albeit for reasons that have more to do with the protection of national sovereignty and allowing for political manoeuvring at national level, rather than with opposing anticorruption measures per se. The Commission and the Parliament, on the other hand, have demonstrated their potential to become anticorruption flagships, capable of transforming the current patchy approach into a more robust anticorruption framework.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Benedetto, Giacomo, Supervisor
  • Allen, Nicholas, Advisor
Award date1 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Corruption
  • EU and Member State regulation
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • policy-making

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