Corruption – Great Britain Targets the World

Great Britain recently adopted the Bribery Act aimed at fighting corruption. And contrasting to ordinary national law, the act targets any individuals or corporations that have any sort of link to Great Britain such as employing British nationals, dealing with British firms or being founded as a Ltd under British law. Basically Great Britain takes on the world.

Brightnews! Many poor and small countries simply lack the resources and often the will of the political elites to effectively tackle corruption. Also, considering the short sighted and egoistic behavior of many states there is little hope of stringent international standards being adopted anytime soon. Therefore, given that effectively unlinking a major company from Great Britain is virtually unfeasible, corporations will have to consider whether bribing officials in order to get a contract is worth the risk of being sued in the UK. Clearly, the potential positive effects of the Bribery Act are tremendous. And it gets even brighter, when we enlarge the scope of the idea and involve more significant actors. Why only corruption and why only Great Britain? Let’s assume the EU makes sure that producers of goods sold in the Union have to respect European social and environmental standards. Workers in East Asia would enjoy proper wages and workers in Europe would suddenly be much more competitive, slowing or reversing outsourcing of jobs and environmental pollution. More purchase power and consumption in China and more low qualified jobs in the West and the US would rebalance the world economy. At the same time, consumers would need to pay fair prices and maybe think twice about unconsciously buying all kind of unnecessary disposable stuff. I am absolutely positive that would not hurt our consumer centric life patterns. It would be the EU’s next big project, outshining the currency crises and gaining sympathy from left (better working conditions, environmental protection) to right (more competitive economy and less unfair competition). Sounds simple? Well, those are usually the best ideas.

Source: Die Zeit


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