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Corruption and Integration – Does the Expansion of the European Union Represent a Risk Factor?

In: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Author:
Wolfgang Hetzer
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Abstract

The imminent entry of ten countries into the European Union is one of the greatest success stories in the contemporary history of the continent. Following the devastation of the Second World War and the political and economic paralysis during the ‘Cold War’ period the future holds promise of development opportunities of historical significance for twenty-five Member States. It must not be overlooked, however, that, due to the still prevalent differences in living standards, in income ratios and in administrative structures, the process of economic approximation is also not without risks. Among these is the tendency towards corruption. The expansion of the European Union can only succeed economically and politically if the dangers associated with corruption are minimized by far-sighted legislation and consistent implementation measures throughout Europe. This is true not only with respect to the new Member States.

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