Fighting corruption and promoting democracy & the rule of law

Public procurement is commonly recognized as a pivotal instrument to design a just society, particularly given its core-principles related to the rule of law, including objectivity, equality, transparency and proportionality of governmental actions and decisions. During the last thirty years, it has been used by influential organizations such as the European Union or Transparency International as an important criterion to measure and indicate the level of (perception of) corruption (Transparency International 2019; European Parliament 2016;  EU Commission 2014).

The risks of arbitrariness or (in non-Dutch eyes) corruption in public procurement, and thus the risks to infringe the rule of law, is one of the biggest potential impediments to achieving a just, sustainable and open society. It is the top priority of governments all over the world to combat corruption at large and especially in public procurement. Even in the Netherlands there is still room for improvement, because the 2014 EU anti-corruption report shows that 64% of Dutch respondents believe that there is widespread corruption among officials in public procurement projects, a percentage much higher than in countries like Greece and Italy (both 55%). Data regarding recent years show a few improvements but similar concerning results (2019).

Sub-themes and specific projects

  • Preventive measures: stimulating ‘good’ behaviour
  • Repressive measures: methods to combat corruption in the distinct phases of the procedure