The lack of EU-wide action against organised crime and corruption costs the EU at least €71 billion each year, according to a study published by the European Parliament.
Corruption itself costs the EU economy up to €900 billion each year when lost tax revenues are taken into account, but also the social and political costs such as more unequal societies, high levels of organised crime or a weaker rule of law and the public mistrust it generates.
The estimate goes well beyond the €120 billion figure usually put forward by the European Commission, which takes into account only the loss of tax revenue and investment.
The findings are part of a research project at the European Parliament on the "cost of non-Europe".
The study on organised crime and corruption was commissioned last September by the EP's civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee and recently published by the European parliamentary research service.
It is based on three reports carried out by the Rand Europe and CEPS think-tanks and and Oxford academic, Federico Varese.
- Corruption costs EU €71bn a year, euobserver