Transparency International writes: “Corruption – a Pan-European Problem”. So besides rescue plans and rising debts, Europe does have another problem to tackle. The report clearly finds: “Corruption is a reality in Europe and affects the daily lives of ordinary citizens.” Let’s have a look at their findings:
First, let us see how they measure corruption at Transparency International. “The Corruption Perception Index ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of polls, drawing on corruption-related data collected by a variety of reputable institutions.” The following video explains you what the CPI is all about:
Let’s start with some good news: in the 2011 evaluation six (Denmark, Finland, Swerden, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland) out of the ten least corrupt countries in the world (again according to Transparency International) are to be found in Europe. But with Ukraine (152), Russia (143), Moldova and Kosovo (112) and Albania (95) the continent is also well-represented towards the other end of the list.
Now, as far as the European Union is concerned we have: Greece ranked 80th. Bulgaria ranked 86th, Romania (75) and Slovakia (66) and Latvia on 61. Only 14 out 27 countries are in the top 30 ranks. Europe is far from being the example region for fighting corruption. The report finds that “all countries in europe, even those usually considered to be the ‘cleanest of the clean’, have some deficits in their anti-corruption frameworks.”
Now, at the brink of one of the worst (or possibly one day we can say the worst) crisis “Europe is faced with significant corruption risks, particularly at the intersection of business and politics. The current system allows for undue influence and wrongful conduct, while avoiding public scrutiny.”
Here are some of the problems we have with corruption in Europe: “Political party financing is inadequately regulated across the region“, lobbying is still happening in secret, “parliaments are not living up to ethical standards”, there is a lack of transparency and information, and “protection for whistleblowers is severely lacking”. What is important noticing is that this kind practices go without any punishment. The “assessments of Greece, Portugal and Spain highlight in particular that inefficiency, malpractice and corruption are neither sufficiently controlled nor sanctioned.” It’s not wonder people don’t trust politicans anymore: in Greece, Spain or Romania more than 80% of the people are found to believe that political parties are corrupt or extremly corrupt.
You can read the whole report here.
To get a fast overview of how corrupt certain European countries are, check out this interactive map.