Sunday

21st Jul 2019

Denmark seen as least corrupt EU country

Denmark is perceived as the least corrupt country in the EU, while Greece is seen as the most corrupt.

The Berlin-based NGO, Transparency International (TI), on Tuesday (3 December) published its 2013 corruption perceptions index, covering 177 countries.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world, says Transparency International (Photo: h.koppdelaney)

The ranking is based on expert opinion of public sector corruption on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Seven of the 28 EU member states scored below 50.

Denmark scored 91. Finland and Sweden did well.

But Greece had the same score as China, on 40 points, while Bulgaria, Italy and Romania also came near the bottom end of the EU list.

Perception levels in the EU, compared to last year, did not change for the most part, but there are some exceptions.

“The major movements, they are not dramatic, but you see that Spain and Slovenia dropped, whereas Estonia, Latvia, and Greece have improved by four points,” said Carl Dolan, TI's EU office director.

While still at the bottom of the EU list, Greece made slight improvements compared to last year's score of 36.

Spain dropped to 59, compared to 65 in 2012. Slovenia slipped by four points to 57.

Slovenia's anti-corruption commissioner Goran Klemencic resigned last week in protest over a “silent alliance” to block anti-fraud laws.

TI's Dolan said corruption scandals on political party financing and lack of adequate protection for whistleblowers has undermined people’s confidence in the government.

“The ease with which dirty money can evade detection are problems that require a collective response from EU and national leaders,” he noted.

Meanwhile, many non-European countries scored in the same league as EU member states.

New Zealand shares the top spot with Denmark.

Uruguay, the Bahamas, and Chile all scored 71 along with France.

Germany slipped a point from last year and scored 78, but is still ranked in the top 12.

The worst performers are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, on just eight points each.

Huguette Labelle, TI’s chairman, said: “The better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks."

The EU, for its part, is set to publish its first anti-corruption report early next year.

The European Commission estimates that corruption costs the bloc €120 billion every year.

Corruption report: Hungary gets worse, Italy makes progress

Italians, Czechs and Latvians perceive less corruption than a few years ago in Transparency International's annual ranking. The Berlin-based NGO said Finland was a 'worrying case', whilst Bulgaria - which holds the EU presidency - is EU's most corrupt.

EU proposes yearly rule of law 'reports'

EU states ought to undergo a yearly "Rule of Law Review Cycle" to help stop countries such as Hungary, Poland, and Romania from backsliding on EU norms, the European Commission has said.

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  2. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  3. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  4. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  5. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  6. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  7. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  8. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us