Saturday

4th Apr 2020

Croatia and Hungary are 'new face of corruption'

Perceived corruption in Croatia and Hungary is so high that both have dropped in global rankings when compared to last year, according to Transparency International (TI).

Carl Dolan, who heads the anti-corruption NGO's office in Brussels, described the two on Wednesday (25 January) "as the new face of corruption in Europe".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

His comments, posted on a blog on TI's website, followed the publication of the NGO's annual corruption perception index.

Out Wednesday, the survey noted Croatia and Hungary have now joined the ranks of the worst performers in the EU alongside Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Romania.

The survey ranks some 176 countries and scores them on a 0 to 100 scale, with 0 being perceived as highly corrupt and 100 as being very clean.

Bulgaria scored the worst among EU states with 41, followed by Greece (44), Italy (47), Romania (48), Hungary (48), and Croatia (49).

Dolan faulted the crackdown on civil society and other independent institutions in Croatia and Hungary for their worsening performance.

Both governments were also embroiled in scandals last year.

In one case, Hungary's government allegedly funneled money from the Central Bank to friends and family.

Such moves are part of a broader trend to muscle in new laws and rules that favour "a ruling party and its cronies", said Dolan.

In an email to this website, Dolan also said the EU leadership had failed to properly address the corruption that was eroding confidence in political institutions.

Other big issues like terrorism, the UK's departure from the EU, and the refugee crisis, have led EU leaders to neglect what he described "as a slow-burning corruption crisis in its midst."

He noted, for instance, that the publication of a European Commission report on corruption has been delayed by more than a year.

"This complacency towards corruption is the perfect fuel for a fast-burning crisis," he said.

EU states also rank as the best performers in the global survey, however.

Tied with New Zealand, Denmark comes out as the world's cleanest with a score of 90. Finland is next best at 89 followed by Sweden at 88.

Somalia is perceived as the most corrupt country in the world, followed closely by South Sudan, and North Korea.

Soros-linked NGOs defy Orban purge

Hungarian NGOs funded by philanthropist George Soros have vowed to defy prime minister Viktor Orban’s plan to “sweep them out” of the country.

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.

Denmark leads Ukraine anti-corruption drive

The EU has unveiled an anti-corruption scheme for Ukraine, amid concerns that its officials and lawmakers are undermining a key reform in the fight against villainy.

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.

Five new post-Brexit MEPs to watch

Five MEPs to keep an eye on from the 27 new members who are joining the European Parliament this week, following the UK's departure from the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. EU's 'Irini' Libya mission: Europe's Operation Cassandra
  2. Slovak army deployed to quarantine Roma settlements
  3. Lockdown: EU officials lobbied via WhatsApp and Skype
  4. EU: Athens can handle Covid outbreak at Greek camp
  5. New push to kick Orban's party out of centre-right EPP
  6. EU launches €100bn worker support scheme
  7. Court: Three countries broke EU law on migrant relocation
  8. Journalism hit hard by corona crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us