Examining corruption at two of Europe's gateways

perspective view of containers at containers yard with forklift and truck. Photo by Mongkolchon/AdobeStock

Photo by Mongkolchon/AdobeStock

What is the issue?

The Port of Rotterdam is the largest seaport in Europe, with an annual cargo throughput of about 436.8 million tons and more than 120,000 ship visits in 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Schiphol Airport is also among the continent's busiest airports. These facilities in the Netherlands form an important hub in the global economy and a gateway to the European market, but they also offer wide-ranging opportunities for corruption, in the import, transit and export of prohibited substances.

As corruption can pave the way for organised crime, and as these main ports are so complex and extensive that it is difficult to detect such activities, it is important to better understand the risks and the context in which corruption can occur.

How are we helping?

The Dutch Ministry's Research and Documentation Centre (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum or WODC) commissioned RAND Europe to examine corruption in relation to subversive crime at Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam.

Our aim is to aid policy makers to tackle corruption at the two ports by providing insight into the risks occurring and the effectiveness of different anti-corruption strategies to counter the risks.

The key research objectives of this study are threefold:

  1. To contextualise potential characteristics of main ports that may make them vulnerable to corruption
  2. To identify the greatest risks for each port
  3. To estimate the potential impact of these risks and to develop policies to prevent and suppress corruption.

We will also identify potential risks that may occur in the future and explore different policies to mitigate them.