Washington D.C. – ESI at Atlantic Council event: "Stopping the kleptocrats"

24 January 2023
Video: Atlantic Council

ESI's Gerald Knaus participated online in a panel debate organised by the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on countering political corruption: "Stopping the kleptocrats".

Gerald discussed the role of the Council of Europe (CoE), its role in defence of human rights on the continent, and how certain mechanisms of the CoE had been captured by the government of Azerbaijan a decade ago.

He emphasized that the key to fighting corruption in European politics is the willingness of prosecutors to investigate when evidence of corruption by outside autocratic powers is obvious. He also noted that there is often a lack of awareness among authorities and a need for public outrage to bring about change. He gave specific examples of corruption scandals including a high-profile Italian politician, the European Parliament, and the role of prosecutors in investigating them.

Speakers included Sheldon Whitehouse, United States Senator (D-RI) and Krum Zarkov, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as:

  • Elina Ribakova, Deputy Chief Economist, Institute for International Finance
  • Lakshmi Kumar, Policy Director, Global Financial Integrity
  • Matthew Duss, Visiting Scholar, American Statecraft Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The event was moderated by Ben Judah, Director, Transform Europe Initiative and Senior Fellow, Europe Center, Atlantic Council.