Press release

Hertie School to play a leading role in the largest EU-wide research project on fighting corruption

What works in the fight against corruption? Hertie School to play a leading role in the largest EU-wide research project on fighting corruption.

Berlin, 8 December 2011 – The Hertie School is jointly leading the largest EU research project to date on fighting corruption. Eight million euro in funding has been granted to ANTICORRP, an interdisciplinary research project that will bring together the expertise of 21 groups of researchers from 16 European countries over five years. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School, will be co-authoring the project, which Professor Bo Rothshein from the University of Gothenburg is coordinating. ANTICORRP is officially launched on 9 December, International Anti-corruption Day. Mungiu-Pippidi has also been appointed as part of the European Commission’s Group of Experts on Corruption, which will commence its work in 2012. 

“Since the UN Convention against corruption came into effect six years ago there has not been any substantial progress. It is thus necessary to assess whether the correct measures are being applied to tackle this problem – striking is the fact that people are more distrustful than ever: Two-thirds of the EU’s population consider their governments corrupt. In contrast less than 10 percent consider themselves directly affected by corrupt behaviour. Our aim is to understand why the legal definition of corruption and the public experience thereof differ so starkly. It would appear that simply tackling the issue of bribing is not enough as the privileged treatment of specific groups takes a plethora of forms,” said Professor Mungiu-Pippidi.

The insufficient progress in the international fight against corruption is addressed in a recent study by Professor Mungiu-Pippidi that specifically focuses on the fights against corruption in the development cooperation sector. One of the study’s key findings is that the UN’s favoured approach of establishing national Anti-Corruption Departments has brought no proven record of improvements (

ANTICORRP will take a broad approach to assessing government and decision-making structures. A pan-European study on the quality of governance and administration on national and regional levels is planned. For the first time European anti-corruption legislation will be systematically collected and analysed. Another key issue that will be explored is individual values and motivations to engage against corruption. Success factors in effective fights against corruption will also be distilled through the comparison of case studies from similar historical contexts. 

For more information about Professor Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, PhD, click here.