European business and politics are too close are often in closed and corrupt relationships." Discuss with reference to at least three corruption cases.
The current businesses and politics are almost becoming the same in terms of practices and responsibilities. The developing culture of globalization needs strong connections for one to survive in the ever-demanding field of business. Individuals and organizations have found it too challenging to venture into the world of business and succeed without the help of some political figures. In other words those involved in businesses need to get the assistance of the politicians to enable them access some resources necessary for the execution and implementation business process. On the other hand, the politicians have gotten a loophole to exploit business individuals and organization for their own interests.
To transact any major deals especially those related to government one needs the support of those in power. This therefore strengthens the closeness of the two sides. As a result, these activities lead to political corruption. Political corruption refers to the application of powers by government personnel for unlawful private benefits. Abuse of government power for other reasons, like suppression of political opponent and public police brutality is not taken as political corruption. An unlawful act by a government official constitutes political corruption only when the act is directly associated to their legal duties. In Europe, most forms of corruption that are related to business and politics are diverse but they include extortion, nepotism, bribery, graft, fraud, and backing. Politicians or other high-ranking official once they strike a deal they facilitate criminal businesses like human and drug trafficking, and money laundering, however, corruption is not limited to these activities (Chorafas 7).
After the publication of a report of committee of experts into the claims of fraud, misappropriation, and nepotism in the Europe commission in 1999, Guardian reporter Martin Walker illustrated that Europe’s political future is on the balance. On the other hand, the devastated commission divided into enemy groups. No one could cover the fact that a vital division had sprouted between the northern MEPs and commissioners, and from that administrators found a historic opportunity to democratize Europe’s political and managerial character. The southern bloc on the other hand barely needed some combining efforts to keep the officials together and ensure that EU remains on track. In summary, the report passed a strong notion that a righteous north has been carrying out campaign against the corrupt south inside the European organizations, bringing a complete old-fashioned style of general character in the member states that officials, MEPs, and commissioners come from (Pujas & Rhodes 17).
Politicians in such situations get support from the businesspersons and organization because they can use their resources to calm the situations and bring everything to rest. However, some government executives have wide or poorly stated powers that make it complex to differentiate between lawful and unlawful actions. Merchant International Group (MIG) approximated that over two thirds of the 1999 cases are strictly related to Grey Area Dynamics (GADs). The model of GADs was initiated by MIG as a general illustration of passive and non-passive, lawful and unlawful aspects that bureaucracy, corruption, and unequal market competition are but a few.
The determination and examination of GADs is strongly hard when decision-makers and others subsequently do not understand what they are looking for or how to find it. In trying to address risks or rewards, most business individuals make the worst mistakes of assuming that the politicians will provide the required safety of the enterprise and ensure healthy returns. Other businesses relate risk management with security of their investment, mistakenly assuming that the politicians have the capacity and resources to deal with such issues. That is a big tragedy of misconception. Because of various beliefs that politicians can provide necessary protection to businesses, much of the fundamental business executive seldom seek for functional solution to the enterprises resulting to poor decision-making (Bee & Bozzini 124).
Without appropriate budgeting or access to necessary information and fearing that non-productive or withdrawal will seem badly on their sides, and reduces their opportunities of progressing, businesspersons dare gamble with the politicians on risks involving millions. These makes the politicians always prey for individuals or organization with high expectations of progressing. They ensure that they get involved with them so that if the deals succeed, they will get a share of the cake. The politicians in relation to the businesspersons’ views on the current situations affecting the economy usually formulate government policies about trade regulations. Since they have attachment to the business enterprises, they will always try to fight for the policies that are favorable to them and in the end, they use that to exploit the businesspersons. This creates avenues for corruption and other illegal activities by the government officials.
Some government policies require that development partners and organizations should be of high standards to develop capacity and willingness to evaluate their own performance. This is a reflection of outputs from the dedication of joint proceedings that sustains the country’s growth strategies. Without the help of the politician, some potential individuals or organizations can be locked out of the viable ventures. Therefore, business and politics are close together. In fact, they are one since one cannot function well without the efforts of the other.
Politics, personalities, and individual’s behaviors are essential aspects in the achievement or collapse of all the businesses. This accommodates all the actors involved. The problem is being aware of these aspects and carrying out duties to assist main decision-makers, who require extra support. They do not have means of weighing political desires and attributes against the expected results where these cannot be adjusted nor has any impact to their survival tricks (Chorafas 37).
In addition, politicians are themselves involves in business activities across various fields, and they use other businesspersons to represent them and run the enterprises on their behalf. In such a situation, there is no politician allowing other forms of competitors to enter into their side of operation. Moreover, they will prevent their suppliers and partners by whatever means so that they both gain on the deals and increase their profits.
To protect their businesses they can even make bills that will seek to give them freedom of exercise, and participation in other field apart from their political interests. An example of such a situation is the case of the Italian Prime minister Mr. Silvio Berlusconi who was found on acts corruption in 2001. Opposition MPs and magistrate brought the allegations that Mr. Berlusconi had saved himself from jail on fraud case. The parliament lead by his supporters of house of freedom coalition outweighs the others in passing a law that legalized pretense accounting exercises (Porta et. al 74).
Company managers can cover up fraud usually by application of such activities. The bill that was passed to the scream of shame from the opposition side, removes away years of duty by probing magistrates on several cases of corporate funds mismanagement. The bill set Mr. Berlusconi free of three corruption cases and the opposition described it as being tailor made for the Prime Minister. Such a bill and other created by the politicians protects their business associates by automatically stopping the probing of fake company accounting. By passing the bill, it implies that the exercise is only a crime when the company is cited on the stock exchange, and when a person can produce evidence that they have undergone personal harm (Porta et. al 75).
Usually, the government has many tenders on various departments, of which they are opened to the public. The politicians however, control most of these tenders and because of their greed for money; they offer the tenders to their close associates and those who are willing to part with some share of the tender. This creates corrupt individuals at the government leading to poor or misappropriation of the government resources. In Europe, some well-known business owners or company directors have a lot of influence at the government functions. For instance, Mr. Dimitrov, a company executive in 2009 was involved in corruption and misuse of over $1.37 million from the heating company. His acts were successful and went unnoticed for several years because of his strong political association with other government officials. He used the funds from the company for entertainment reasons, engaging in luxurious holidays, and other miscellaneous activities. Moran in 2000 claimed that the man had used his resources to gain access to government officials. He was also known to being awarded contracts for his company, which contributed to his involvement in corruption allegations (Parker 285).
Glynn et. al. 2009 defined that in the contemporary society most political campaigns require the use of recourses to influence voters’ view on a candidate. This tempts an individual to seek the help of potential businesspersons, promising them that as soon as they take over office, they will give them a bigger share of the gains. As a result, business owners will always give support to their preferred politicians in anticipation of the numerous promises made. Since politics and business have close association, one can never rise to power without being in business and once one attains power, they still want to amass more wealth. There is no way an individual can do that unless they seek the help of politicians and their corrupt ways.
Furthermore, the world is geared towards globalization. Many see that as an opportunity to grow their businesses overseas and expand their markets. The only people who can access that potential now are the politicians since they travel a lot across the world on official duties or even private functions like going for holidays. Such cases provide avenues for business and politics to interact with one another. Globalization and democracy is also on the rise and every country is trying to meet the targets. The competition existing among countries has some positive motives, but some politicians will use that to hit on their rivals. This can be done by bribing the officials of another country or apply internal methods to suppress the other either by approaching the politicians to cancel their visas or block their accounts for selfish interests. All these are forms of corruption being facilitated by business activities and politics (Kimberly 10).
Corruption discriminates economic growth through creation of sizeable alteration and insufficiency. In the private sector, corruption raises the expenditure of business through the cost of illegal payments, the control price of negotiating with politicians, and the susceptibility of violation of contract or detection. Although some asserts that corruption lowers costs through removal of the red tape, the accessibility of bribes by business individuals can make politicians to fix new policies and delays. On the other hand, when politicians are addicted to easy ways of accumulating resources through corruption they will inflate business cost and alter the normal market. This will prevent organizations with links from competition and hence sustaining ineffective organizations. Politicians can also divert public ventures into capital projects of which bribes are in plenty. Government officials can raise the technical challenges of public sector projects to cover or open way for related deals, hence interfering with the investments.
Corruption creates a major growth problem. In the political arena, it discriminates democracy and proper governance by breaching or even redirecting formal program. Corruption in appointment and in governmental bodies minimizes accountability and breaks depiction in policy creation. Biasness in the judiciary reduces the rule of law and in general administration leads to ineffective provision of services. It breaches the common policies of democracy about the generality of civic right. Furthermore, it wears down the organizational ability of administration as processes are ignored, resources are exploited, and public structure and properties are bought and sold. Lastly, corruption isolates the legitimacy of government and other democratic grounds as loyalty and tolerance (Kimberly 15).
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