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In brief

On 3 May 2023, the European Commission presented to the European Parliament and the Council a proposal for a Directive on fighting corruption.

Key takeaways

The proposal, which refers to corruption in both the public and private sector, provides for the extension of the list of criminal offenses in each EU Member State to include misappropriation, trading in unlawful influence, abuse of functions, as well as obstruction of justice and unlawful enrichment. In addition, the proposal provides for the increase in the level of applicable sanctions and the harmonization of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

The Commission deemed it necessary to update the current legal framework on the fight against corruption which is considered as fragmented and limited in scope. Indeed, in the Commission’s opinion, the measures introduced at a national level for combating corruption are not sufficiently harmonized, with the consequence that the criminalization of different offenses and the sanctions applicable to them vary significantly among Member States, thus hampering the effective fight against corruption, especially in cross-border cases, which are constantly increasing.

The proposal shall now be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council.


Roberto Cursano has been a lawyer in Baker McKenzie since September 2007. He focuses on healthcare law and compliance, and assists in tender procedures, the negotiation of public contracts and litigation before administrative courts. Mr. Cursano is a former administrative officer in the Italian Ministry of Health and helps clients work closely with the Italian Public Administration. He is admitted to the bar before the Italian Supreme Court and the Council of State. As well as training and tutoring in the master’s degree program on clinical trials of pharmaceutical products at the University of Rome Sapienza, Mr. Cursano regularly publishes articles and scientific contributions. He also frequently hosts and participates in seminars and presentations on pharmaceutical and administrative law matters.


Riccardo Ovidi is an Associate in Baker McKenzie Rome office.


Francesca R. Baratta is an Associate in Baker McKenzie Rome office.

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