Ukraine remains the most corrupt country in Europe, followed by Moldova and Albania, according to a new report released by Transparency International today. Among EU member states, Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece sit in bottom place.
The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories.
Scores range from 0 (perceived as highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be the least corrupt), using expert assessments and opinion surveys.
Ukraine received a score of 32, one point below Moldova, putting both countries just behind Pakistan on the global index. Albania, with 36 points, puts it on par with Colombia and the Philippines.
Of the lowest ranking EU Member States, Bulgaria, with 42 points sits between Tunisia and Burkina Faso. Longstanding EU member Greece (45) has fallen behind Romania (47), while Hungary (46) continues its slide under Viktor Orban to take its place as the 64th most corrupt country in the world, one place behind Senegal.
Finland (85), Sweden (85), Switzerland (85), Norway (84), the Netherlands (82) and Luxembourg (81) all feature in the top ten least corrupt countries in the world. Denmark, with 88 points, ranks in first place as the country with lowest perception of corruption among its citizens.
In its regional overview, Transparency International said the index “paints a bleak picture of anti-corruption efforts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” pointing out that only three countries in the region scored above the global average of 58 points.
“Among European Union (EU) candidate and potential candidate countries, or those countries currently in accession negotiations with the EU, four out of seven have seen minor drops in their CPI scores since last year,” Transparency said in its report.
“Despite firm EU conditions on curbing corruption and ensuring institutions are free of political influence, many governments across the region fail to show true commitment to democracy and the rule of law.”
Among EU member states, special mention is made of the steep decline that has taken place in Hungary, which has fallen by 9 points over the past seven years. Citing the crackdown on NGOs and the government-led Stop Soros campaign, Transparency said Hungary has experienced “a deterioration of democracy, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media.”
The report concluded that “it is time for countries in Western Europe and the EU to make good on their anti-corruption commitments and live up to their reputation for being a region that is supposed to embody the gold standard of integrity.”