Transparency International this week published the 2013 edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI),which ranks countries and territories worldwide according to their scores on perceived levels of public sector corruption.
The index is compiled by aggregating different sources of corruption-related data that are produced by a variety of institutions such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and others. These focus on access to information, bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, the effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts, and the enforcement of anti-corruption laws.
The CPI is widely seen as a useful yardstick for comparing corruption by governments, investors, and civil society groups. The 2013 results can be compared to the previous year. However, because of the update in the CPI methodology last year, results before 2012 are not comparable over time.
The 2013 Index ranks 177 countries and territories according to their scores on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). For instance, Denmark and New Zealand (both scoring 91) are ranked 1st in the list, as perceived to be the least corrupt. The last country ranked by the CPI is Somalia (scoring 8). More than two-thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index score above 50. The global average score is 43.
As shown in the table, the majority of the EBRD’s countries of operations score below 50. Only seven reach the score of 50 or above: Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Hungary – joined this year by Latvia (whose score jumped from 49 to 53) and Turkey (from 49 to 50). Georgia is no longer part of this small group of relatively ‘better’ achievers (its score having dropped from 52 to 49), but is still ahead of all ‘Eastern Partners’ and a few others in the region.
Croatia, which joined the EU in July 2013, remains one of the countries with the lowest perceived corruption levels in South-Eastern Europe, and its score of 48 improved from last year’s 46.
Improvements are also seen in Macedonia (from 43 to 44), Montenegro (from 41 to 44), and Serbia (from 39 to 42). Bosnia and Herzegovina’s score remains unchanged, and Kosovo’s score dropped slightly (34 to 33).
Deterioration is seen in Moldova (from 36 to 35), Belarus (from 31 to 29), and Ukraine (from 26 to 25). Scores stagnated in the case of Russia (28). In the Caucasus, the scores of Armenia (from 34 to 36) and Azerbaijan (from 27 to 28) have shown some small improvement.
With the exception of Kazakhstan (with a deterioration from 26 to 28), stagnation is seen across Central Asian countries, the countries with the most severe corruption challenges in the EBRD region. The Kyrgyz Republic remains at the low score of 24 alongside Tajikistan (22). Scoring as low as 17, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan both rank 168th out of 177 countries, thus remaining among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world.
With a score of 45 (albeit in decline from 48 last year) Jordan still ranks higher than other SEMED countries. The scores of Tunisia (41) and Morocco (37) both remain unchanged. Egypt's score also remained unchanged at 32, but Transparency International observed that the report is based primarily on surveys from the first half of 2013, before the removal of President Mohammed Morsi in July.