He accused the EU of "neglect" on Portugal, noting that even the so-called troika inspectors who govern its EU-International-Monetary-Fund bail-out, did not mention corruption in their official memos.
TI also slammed the EU institutions on their home turf in Brussels.
It pointed out that the European Commission and the EU Council preach transparency, but at the same time they are trying to push through a new regulation to make public access to internal EU documents even harder.
Meanwhile, in the European Parliament, MEPs are required to claim trips financed by lobbyists only if hotels costs surpass €300 a night or if they are flown business class.
"This is ridiculous," Dutch left-wing MEP, Dennis de Jong, said on the parliament hospitality rules.
"They [EU institutions] don't have [proper] standards in place," TI's De Swardt told EUobserver.