Asking the right questions? Addressing corruption and EU accession. The case study of Turkey

Publication Date05 Jan 2010
AuthorAlan Doig
SubjectAccounting & finance
Asking the right questions?
Addressing corruption
and EU accession
The case study of Turkey
Alan Doig
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
Bangkok, Thailand
Purpose – Turkey is currently a candidate for accession to the European Union (EU), and one of the
pre-conditions is to address corruption. Turkey is also a member of the Council of Europe and subject
to the GRECO peer-review process on corruption. Various quantitative and quantitative surveys rank
Turkey as having a continuing corruption problem, while the 2006 GRECO report warned of a lack of
progress and proposed major institutional and other reforms. Turkey’s political and administrative
development, however, may require the EU to understand that addressing corruption in such a context
may require different answers from those normally elicited to the usual questions about what is to be
Design/methodology/approach The paper synthesizes publicly available information on
Turkey’s readiness to join the EU, on the basis of its capacity to address corruption.
Findings – Turkey’s political and administrative development may require the EU to understand
that addressing corruption in such a context may require novel answers.
Originality/value – The paper provides a new analysis of the situation in Turkey and has value for
researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.
Keywords Corruption, Turkey, European Union
Paper type Research paper
Corruption and accession
In July 2009, the European Commission (EC) published highly critical reports on the
progress Romania and Bulgaria had made to address corruption. In relation to the
former, the report stated that:
[...] the broad based political consensus behind reform and the unequivocal commitment
across political parties to ensuring real progress in the interest of the Romanian people is not
yet there [...] the positive results of concrete reform efforts at technical level remain
fragmented, reforms have not yet taken firmly root and shortcomings persist (Commission of
The European Communities, 2009a, pp. 6-7).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
The author was the Resident Adviser on a Council of Europe public ethics project funded by the
EU between 2008 and 2009. The views expressed are personal and in no way represent those of
the Council of Europe or the EU; all the material used in this paper is in the public domain.
corruption and
EU accession
Journal of Financial Crime
Vol. 17 No. 1, 2010
pp. 9-21
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/13590791011009347

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