A report by the European Commission describes how corruption affects member states and costs their economies around €120 billion a year.
The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, spoke at a news conference in Brussels Monday. She said the estimated amount lost each year due to padded government contracts, covert political financing, bribes to secure health care and other corrupt practices would be enough to fund the EU's annual operating budget.
Malmström said some of the "younger democracies" face special challenges, apparently referring to Eastern European countries.
Government-financed procurement of goods and services is particularly prone to corruption across the EU due to deficient control mechanisms and risk management, the report said.
Fifty-six percent of Europeans believe corruption has increased in their countries, up from 47 percent three years ago.
The purpose of the report is to identify best practices for anti-corruption policies, and raise awareness and provide training, the Commission said.
The EU Anti-Corruption Report can be found here.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.