Wednesday

13th Dec 2017

Bulgaria seen as most corrupt in EU

  • Bulgaria's poor judiciary contributed to its high ranking on the corruption index (Photo: Klearchos Kapoutsis)

Perception of corruption in Bulgaria is the highest in the EU, with Denmark viewed as the most transparent, according to a report by activist group Transparency International (TI).

The report, published on Wednesday (27 January), is based on polls of experts from around the world on topics including free press, access to budget information, integrity and independent judiciaries.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Out of the 168 countries probed, Denmark is seen as the least corrupt with Somalia and North Korea as the most.

Among the 28 EU states, Bulgaria is at the bottom, ranked at 69.

The European Commission, for its part, is set to publish its annual monitoring report on Bulgaria and Romania on Wednesday.

Last year, it found Bulgaria had done little to curb corruption and organised crime despite having joined the EU in 2007.

As the EU's poorest nation, Bulgaria has grappled with political instability and a compromised judiciary.

In the TI index, Italy is not far ahead of Bulgaria in 61st place, behind Romania and Greece both at 46.

Trends in Europe also suggested Hungary, Spain, Macedonia and Turkey were becoming more corrupt.

Anne Koch, TI's director for Europe and Central Asia, said they were "seeing corruption grow, while civil society space and democracy shrink" in all four nations.

The biggest drop in Europe, compared to the past four years, is Spain.

Anger at Spanish corruption cases has helped give rise to new political parties like Podemos and Ciudadanos.

On Tuesday, police in eastern Valencia arrested former senior members in the Spain's ruling Popular Party on allegations of corruption, AFP reported.

A string of corruption scandals has also hit its monarchy, with Spain's king stripping his sister Princess Cristina of her title earlier last year over massive tax fraud.

Some of the most improved countries include Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia and the UK.

Despite the impressive scores among the Nordic countries, TI notes Denmark, Finland and Sweden are not entirely clean.

The group highlighted a 2015 corporate bribery case in Denmark that ended with 13 state employees being arrested.

Meanwhile, Sweden's part state-owned TeliaSonera was involved in bribery allegations in Uzbekistan and the former head of Helsinki's anti-drug police unit has been charged with running a drug cartel.

EU raises alarm on Bulgaria corruption

Seven years after joining the EU, Bulgaria has done little to curb corruption and organised crime in a threat to its sovereignty and to European unity.

Corruption costs EU €71bn a year

EU-wide legal instruments and better coordination among policy makers would reduce the cost of organised crime and corruption costs on European economy and society, a study says.

Bulgarians lack faith in rule of law

Bulgaria remains mired in corruption, with most of its citizens having lost faith in their judicial system despite nine years of EU monitoring and pressure.

New Bulgarian president has bulging in-tray

The apparent pro-Russia leanings of Bulgaria's next leader, Rumen Radev, have dominated headlines. But his first major challenges will be to install a government and attempt to promote anti-corruption reforms.

Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership

Bucharest expects other member states to decide on its accession to the passport-free area before it takes the rotating EU presidency on 1 January 2019 - amid criticism of a controversial new justice reform.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

News in Brief

  1. EU bank delays gas pipeline decision
  2. Hungary's leftwing parties join Jobbik in anti-Orban protest
  3. Barnier: EU will not accept UK backtracking on Brexit deal
  4. Puigdemont to return to Catalonia if elected
  5. Commission approves EasyJet partial takeover of Air Berlin
  6. EU medical command centre due next year
  7. Auditors: EU 'green' farm payments fail ecology criteria
  8. Austria gas explosion creates Italian energy 'emergency'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Last chance for Poland to return property to its rightful owners
  2. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan
  3. Volkswagen tells EU: we will fail on our recall promise
  4. EU will not start Brexit future talks before March
  5. Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU
  6. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  7. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  8. New Polish PM brings same old government