Convention of 26 May 1997 on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union
By this Act, the Council is establishing a Convention designed to fight corruption involving European officials or national officials of Member States of the European Union (EU). On the basis of this Convention, each Member State must take the necessary measures to ensure that conduct constituting an act of passive corruption or active corruption by officials is a punishable criminal offence.
The Convention also provides that Member States must ensure that conduct constituting an act of passive or active corruption, as well as participating in and instigating these acts, is punishable by criminal penalties. In serious cases, these could include penalties involving deprivation of liberty which can give rise to extradition. In addition, Member States must take the necessary measures to allow heads of businesses or any persons having power to take decisions or exercise control within a business to be declared criminally liable in cases of active corruption by a person under their authority acting on behalf of the business.
Each Member State must take the measures necessary to set up its jurisdiction over the offences it has established in accordance with the obligations arising out of this Convention in the following cases:
- when the offence is committed in whole or in part within its territory;
- when the offender is one of its nationals or one of its officials;
- when the offence is committed against European or national officials or against a member of the EU institutions who is also one of its nationals;
- when the offender is a European official working for a European Community institution, agency or body that has its headquarters in the Member State in question.
If any procedure in connection with an offence established in accordance with the obligations arising out of the Convention concerns at least two Member States, those States must cooperate in the investigation and prosecution and in carrying out the punishment imposed.
Reference number: 195
Issue date: 26-05-97
Official Journal: OJ C 195, 25.6.1997, pp. 2-11