Framework Decision on Combatting Corruption in the Private Sector


    Framework Decision on Combatting Corruption in the Private Sector

    The Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA (‘the Framework Decision’) sets out requirements on combating corruption in the private sector, aiming to ensure that both active and passive corruption in the private sector are criminal offences in all the EU Member States, for which natural and legal persons may also be held responsible. The Framework Decision further aims to ensure that the regulated offences incur effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties. 

    Last Updated: July 30, 2019

  • Requirements

    Under Article 2 of the Framework Decision, ‘active and passive corruption in the private sector‘:  

    • constitutes a criminal offence; 
    • applies to both profit and non-profit entities; and  
    • is defined as intentional conduct carried out in the course of business activities, which includes:  a) promising, offering or giving, directly or through an intermediary, to a person who in any capacity directs or works for a private-sector entity an undue advantage of any kind, for that person or for a third party, in order that that person should perform or refrain from performing any act, in breach of that person’s duties; b) directly or through an intermediary, requesting or receiving an undue advantage of any kind, or accepting the promise of such an advantage, for oneself or for a third party, while in any capacity directing or working for a private-sector entity, in order to perform or refrain from performing any act, in breach of one’s duties. 

    Furthermore, instigating, aiding and abetting the conduct described in a) and b) also constitutes a criminal offence (Article 3).  

    Under the Framework Decision, a ‘breach of duty’ should be understood in accordance with national law of the EU Member States and cover as a minimum any disloyal behaviour constituting a breach of a statutory duty, or, as the case may be, a breach of professional regulations or instructions, which apply within the business of a person who in any capacity directs or works for a private sector entity. 

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