MEP and former European Commission Chief Accountant Marta Andreasen, a sacked whistle blower who exposed audit failures, now campaigns for action against EU corruption
No form of government has ever been able to claim honestly that it is totally beyond any form of corruption. The best that can be achieved is to establish an independent auditor, together with a set of procedures and sanctions that automatically come into force when the auditor is unable to accept the behaviour of those in public office. The great difficulty is in ensuring that the auditors are really independent and that there are real teeth to the system that applies sanctions and remedies. … There is no simple answer but the first vital step is for “good” people to do something rather than to stand aside and shrug their shoulders. There are politicians who are as revolted by public corruption as the citizens they were elected to serve. There are citizens who recognize at least part of the decay in public service. If those politicians and citizens step forward and campaign against corruption, they will triumph. It may take time but the will to resist will crush the exploiters. Of prime importance is the recognition that freedom and democracy are also a heavy responsibility. That means that we should also defend the right of others with different views the opportunity to present them even if we hold those views objectionable. If our view is the best available, we should be able to defend the view against all comers and we should never be afraid to do so. Evil frequently triumphs because it is not exposed to open debate. Sometimes that exposure is the result of nervous people attempting to ban the presentation of unwelcome views.