The research project presented here aims to develop means to optimise corruption prevention in the EU. The urgency of such a project is reflected in the fact that corruption holds the po-tential to retard seriously the process of the Community¿s enlargement and integration, even to the extent of threatening the very core of its concept of social order. The prevention poli-cies that have been developed by the EU and implemented so far within individual member countries have in general been characterised by legislative, administrative and police force measures. These are based on a definition of corruption prevention developed in political and administrative institutions that, for its implementation, rely on a "top-down" procedure.
The project purports to conduct not an inquiry into the nature of corruption "as such", but rather into the perceptions of corruption held by political and administrative decision-makers in specific regions and cultures, those held by actors representing various institutions and au-thorities, and above all by the citizens and the media in European societies. The project pro-ceeds from the assumption that the considerably varying perceptions of corruption, deter-mined as they are by "cultural dispositions", have significant influence on a countrys respective awareness of the problem and thereby on the success of any preventative measures. For this reason, the project investigates the "fit" between "institutionalised" prevention policies and how these are perceived in "daily practice", as well as how EU candidate countries and EU member countries as a result handle the issue of corruption. In a final step, the research project intends to make specific recommendations for readjusting this "fit" and to investigate which role the media play within this process in each individual country.
University of Konstanz, Germany (co-ordinator)
University of Tübingen, Germany
Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Bulgaria
Research Institute for Quality of Life (Romanian Academy), Bucharest, Romania
Galatasaray University, Istanbul, Turkey
University of Zagreb, Croatia
National School of Public Administration, Athens, Greece
Panteion University Athens, Greece
South East European Studies at Oxford, United Kingdom