Juncker has to show his colours in the fight on corruption

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This letter was in the Guardian this morning, and I warmly endorse its message:

As investigative journalists, we believe in the critical role of the media in holding institutions to account, exposing corruption, and challenging threats to the social contract between states and citizens which are so critical to democracy.

The “Lux Leaks” scandal (Revealed: tax deals saving firms billions, 6 November) is a recent example of the kind of corrosive deals that big companies are able to extract from countries when they think no one will see. Sweetheart deals, facilitated by accountants and law firms, are depriving European states and countries around the world of billions of euros at a time when austerity is undermining the ability of governments to provide basic public services.

Investigative journalists seeking to challenge corruption rely on the courage of whistleblowers. But equally, we need access to timely information on how companies and trusts are used to funnel corrupt money through the European financial system. The EU anti-money-laundering directive offers an opportunity to ensure that information on the ownership of companies and trusts is available to the public, allowing journalists, NGOs and indeed anyone to monitor the links between suspected criminals and their use of these currently secretive legal structures.

On International Anti-Corruption Day, we urge Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure the EU takes this critical step in the fight against corruption, which undermines the rights of people in Europe and around the world and threatens the credibility and integrity of the European market.

Austin Agbonsuremi Director, political desk, AIT Parliamentary, Abuja, Nigeria
Fabrice Arfi Mediapart, France
Tamás Bodoky Editor-in-chief, Atlatszo.hu, Hungary
Simon Bowers Senior financial reporter, the Guardian
Richard Brooks Reporter, Private Eye magazine, UK
Stefaans Brümmer M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane), South Africa
Santorri Chamley Journalist, UK
Umar Cheema Special investigative correspondent, the News, Islamabad and founder, Center for Investigative Reporting, Pakistan
Susan Comrie Carte Blanche, South Africa
Osama Diab Anti-corruption advocate and investigative journalist, Egypt
Abjata Khalif Kenya Pastoralist Journalists Network, Kenya
Francis Kokutse West Africa correspondent for Indo Asian News Service, columnist for the Finder and Weekend Sun, Ghana
Naomi Fowler Taxcast, UK
Parwiz Kawa Editor-in-chief, Hasht e Subh daily newspaper, Afghanistan
David Masunda The Mirror, Zimbabwe
Nick Mathiason Illicit Finance Journalism Programme, UK
Emmanuel Mayah Reporters 360, Nigeria
Jeff Mbanga Business editor, the Observer, Uganda
Craig McKune M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, South Africa
Jeanne van der Merwe Media 24, South Africa
Moses Michira Investigative reporter for Standard Media in Nairobi, Kenya
Nadine Marroushi Freelance journalist, Egypt/UK
Patrick Mayoyo Investigative journalist, Kenya
Eric Mwamba Wealth Magazine, former president of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters, DRC
Edegbe Odemwingie Senior correspondent, Leadership newspaper, Abuja, Nigeria
Rachel Oldroyd Editor, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, UK
Sandeep Pai Investigative reporter, India
Philipus Parera Managing editor for investigation desk, Tempo Magazine, Indonesia
Tata Peklun Radio Liberty and Anti-Corruption Action Centre, Ukraine
Priti Patnaik Financial journalist, Switzerland/India
Juliana Ruhfus Senior presenter, al-Jazeera
Rana Sabbagh Executive editor, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism
Márton Sarkadi-Nagy Investigative reporter, Atlatszo.hu, Hungary
Natalia Sedletskaya Radio Liberty Ukraine
Khadija Sharife Coordinator, African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting, South Africa
Nicholas Shaxson Author and journalist, Berlin
Drew Sullivan Editor, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Sarajevo/Bucharest/Tbilisi/Washington
Minh Thi Luong Reporter, Vietnam
Bassey Udo Business editor, Premium Times Media, Nigeria
Lara Whyte Journalist, UK
Wong Joon Ian Journalist, UK

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