BRUSSELS: One of the healthy competitions between Europe and the United States is over which one can set a new global standard. On May 25, the European Union began to win on one standard – digital privacy – with the start of stiff rules on how companies handle personal data. The impact, though limited to firms operating in Europe, is being felt globally.
In another type of standard, however, Europe has only begun to compete with the US.
Corruption still pervades many countries on the Continent. The latest example is the May 24 sentencing of 29 people in Spain’s ruling Popular Party related to a massive scheme involving kickbacks. Another is the alleged bribery of members of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly by Azerbaijan for remaining silent on discussions of human rights violations in that Central Asian country.