Stübgen: “Corruption is a boundless evil”
World Anti-Corruption Day has been celebrated annually since 9 December 2003. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the International Day against Corruption. The aim of this day is to commemorate the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) of 31 October 2003 and to draw attention to the dangers, extent and consequences of corruption.
Interior Minister Michael Stübgen: “Corruption is a boundless evil and harms the common good. Corruption hinders the innovative strength of the economy and undermines people’s trust in the functionality and integrity of public administration. Important factors for successfully preventing and combating corruption are therefore transparency and the joint commitment of citizens, politicians, administrators and businesses.”
The UN Convention has now been signed by 190 parties (as of 10 October 2023). In it, the signatory countries undertake to penalise various forms of corruption and to cooperate internationally in the fight against it. It covers five main areas: Preventive measures, criminalisation and prosecution, international cooperation, asset recovery and technical assistance and exchange of information. The convention covers the various forms of corruption. These include, in particular, bribery, granting of advantages, influence peddling, abuse of office and various acts of corruption in the private sector.
Corruption has a negative impact on all areas of society, is closely linked to conflicts and regional instability, jeopardises social and economic development and undermines democratic institutions and the rule of law. On the current Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of Transparency International, a non-profit and non-partisan movement dedicated to the global fight against corruption, Germany scores 79 out of 100 points. The CPI reflects the degree of perceived corruption. The higher a country’s score, the greater its reputation for integrity. Of the 180 countries listed, Germany ranks 9th in the ranking.
On 3 March 2005, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice of the state of Brandenburg founded the interdepartmental joint corruption investigation group (GEG Korruption), in which the special department of the public prosecutor’s office in Neuruppin and the State Criminal Police Office 138 concentrate on prosecuting corruption offences with state-wide jurisdiction.
The State Office of Criminal Investigation of the State of Brandenburg publishes the annual report “Corruption Crime in the State of Brandenburg”. It is primarily aimed at the political and police management and decision-making levels and is intended to help assess the risk and damage potential of corruption and its significance for the crime situation in the state of Brandenburg and to recognise the need for action.
According to the situation report for 2022, the number of corruption proceedings fell by 125 to 55 proceedings (2021: 180 proceedings) or 69.4% compared to the previous year, while the number of related offences fell by 683 to 190 cases (2021: 873 cases) or 78.2%. This decline is primarily due to statistical effects, as individual large-scale proceedings with a high number of individual cases recorded in the respective years have a strong statistical impact, which was also observed in the previous year 2022. Looking back over many years, there is a tendency for the observed events to focus on cases of complex structural corruption, which the law enforcement authorities rely on whistleblowers to investigate.
The main focus of corruption investigations was once again on cases of structural corruption, in particular classic bribery and corruption offences in connection with acts by willing recipients (public officials) in breach of their official duties. When looking at the suspected donors, it is noticeable that the construction industry accounts for the largest share at 20% and that the share of private donors has fallen again significantly after a high in the previous year. The main target area for corrupt behaviour remains public administration.
Further information on the corruption situation report can be found on the Brandenburg police website.