The first ever review of corruption and integrity risks in the EU institutions has been presented. The Brussels office of Transparency International (TI) presented Thursday their “EU Integrity System Report” (pdf), highlighting the prevailing risks for corruption in EU institutions, which exist despite existing policies, rules, and codes of conduct. The report identifies five areas of particular concern: complex and only semi-transparent EU law-making, under-regulated EU lobbying, poorly managed conflicts of interest, weak protection for EU whistle-blowers, and few sanctions for corrupt companies. The report comes at a time when trust in EU institutions is at an all-time low with 70% of EU-citizens assuming some sort of corrupt behavior in the EU. Proposals for policy and legislative reforms to counter current risks are also brought forward. The TI report has been widely quotes in the Wall Street Journal, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and relevant EU press.
After several years of sometimes violent divisions between the two Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, an agreement between them has been reached, reports the Irish Times. While Israel and the United States consider this a threat to currently undergoing Israel-Palestine peace talks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as well as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton welcomed the reconciliation as a positive and necessary step to a two-state solution. However, the EU also highlights the priority for peace talks between Israel and Palestine, reports the Telegraph.
While more than 800 internet experts from all over the world with vastly different backgrounds meet at the NETmundial in Brasil, the US announced they will surrender oversight on ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers by 2015. The step was welcomed by the global community and shifted talks from allegations over US secret services spying on online users to reflections on the future governance of the internet. NETmundial is one of many conferences on the topic of internet governance, net neutrality and safety in 2014. The highlight will be the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in September in Istanbul, Turkey.
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