Vera Cherepanova on the EU Directive on Combatting Corruption [Podcast]


By Adam Turteltaub

Currently there is a patchwork of anticorruption laws across the EU. What has been lacking, though, is a EU-wide approach. That is likely to change soon, reports Vera Cherepanova, founding partner of Studio Etica.

Change is afoot.  In May 2023 the EU issued a new proposal to combat corruption, including a new Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on combatting corruption by criminal law.

The new directive, she explains, makes it clear that actions by senior executives can have significant consequences both for the individuals involved and their organizations. Companies could face fines of no less than 5% of worldwide turnover.

Notably, like the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the new EU directive has extraterritorial reach, which raises the prospect of more enforcement actions.

The directive also includes incentives for compliance programs consistent with what is found in law elsewhere: “…where legal persons have implemented effective internal controls, ethics, and compliance programmes, it should be possible to consider these actions as a mitigating circumstance.”

Meantime, across the English Channel, the UK Parliament is considering a new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, which could be represent a hugely significant change in the enforcement landscape. It includes a crime of failure to prevent fraud. In addition, corporations can be held liable for acts of senior managers.

Listen in to learn more about the upcoming changes and what they may mean for your compliance program.