Transparency International, corruption and the EBRD region in 2014

By Miriam Macke

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Estonia, Cyprus, Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary and Georgia are among the top 50 countries listed by Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index.
 
Transparency International last week published its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI),  capturing perceptions of the extent of corruption in the public sector, based on data from independent institutions specialising in governance and business climate analysis such as the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the African Development Bank and the Bertelsmann Foundation.
 
The scores reflect perceptions of the prevalence of bribery and a lack of punishment for corruption in the public sector.
 
The CPI, which is a tool widely used by governments, civil society organisations and investors to compare levels of corruption across countries, ranks 175 countries and territories according to scores ranging from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). The 2014 ranking is headed by Denmark with a score of 92, while North Korea and Somalia share the last place with a score of eight.
 
In the EBRD region only eight countries are among the top 50 listed by the CPI: Estonia, Cyprus, Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia and Hungary, which are for the first time joined by Georgia this year.
 
Turkey experienced the most severe decline (from 50 to 45) among all EBRD countries in this year’s ranking, though it remains amongst the better performing countries on the corruption scale.
 
In South-Eastern Europe (SEE), scores remained more or less stable relative to 2013, suggesting that the EU anchor and the emphasis on economic governance have yet to show tangible results. Croatia and FYR Macedonia remain the highest ranked countries in this region, while Albania and Kosovo are at the bottom with scores of 33. Albania, which has made the fight against corruption a high priority under Prime Minister Edi Rama, and which is cooperating closely with the EBRD’s Investment Climate and Governance Initiative (ICGI), improved slightly from last year (31 in 2013 to 33 this year).
 
Serbia, on the other hand, another ICGI programme country, declined slightly from 42 to 41. Bulgaria’s score of 43 increased by 2 notches compared to the previous CPI and is on the same level as Romania’s, which remains the same as last year’s.
 
The change in leadership in Ukraine and the fall of the Yanukovich regime did not produce noticeable immediate results on the corruption scale (Ukraine’s score increased slightly from 25 to 26). Much work remains to be done in Ukraine, and this is a focus of the new Government.
 
In Moldova, another country that recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the EBRD to improve the investment climate and to promote good governance, the level of perceived public sector corruption remained the same as last year (with a score of 35). Following elections and the continuation of the pro-reform coalition in Moldova there is hope that more will be done to crack down on corruption at all levels.
 
Elsewhere in the former Soviet Union scores pretty much remained at their pre-existing low levels. From this group of countries, only Georgia, as noted above, has a respectable score and ranking on anti-corruption. Uzbekistan (18) and Turkmenistan (17) remain at the very bottom of the league table of EBRD’s countries of operations. They share the 170th rank out of 175, and are therefore among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world.
 
Jordan heads the ranking among the SEMED countries with a score of 49 (up from 45 last year) and is together with Egypt (from 32 to 37) the biggest improver in the entire EBRD region, with +4 and +5 notches respectively. Tunisia deteriorated slightly (from 41 to 40) while Morocco’s score increased from 37 to 39.

Perceived levels of public sector corruption in EBRD Countries of Operations
2012 – 2014
 
Rank 2012 (out of 176 countries)
Rank 2013
(out of 177 countries)
Rank 2014 (out of 175 countries)
COUNTRY
Score 2014
(very corrupt)
to 100 (very clean)
Score 2013
 (very corrupt)
to 100 (very clean)
Score 2012
(very corrupt)
to 100 (very clean)
Ranking among the 50 least corrupt countries worldwide
32
28
26
(+2)
Estonia
69
68
64
29
31
31
=
Cyprus
63
=
63
66
41
38
35
(+3)
Poland
61
60
58
48
43
39
(+4)
Lithuania
58
57
54
37
43
39
(+4)
Slovenia
58
57
61
54
49
43
(+6)
Latvia
55
53
49
46
47
47
=
Hungary
54
=
54
55
51
55
50
(+5)
Georgia
52
49
52
Ranking between 51 and 100
62
61
54
(+7)
Slovak Republic
50
47
46
58
66
55
(+11)
Jordan
49
45
48
62
57
61
(-4)
Croatia
48
=
48
46
69
67
64
(+3)
FYR Macedonia
45
44
43
54
53
64
(-11)
Turkey
45
50
49
75
77
69
(+8)
Bulgaria
43
41
41
66
69
69
=
Romania
43
=
43
44
75
67
76
(-7)
Montenegro
42
44
41
80
72
78
(-6)
Serbia
41
42
39
75
77
79
(-2)
Tunisia
40
41
41
72
72
80
(-8)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
39
42
42
94
83
80
(-3)
Mongolia
39
38
36
88
91
80
(+11)
Morocco
39
37
37
105
94
94
=
Armenia
37
36
34
118
114
94
(+20)
Egypt
37
32
32
Ranking between 101 and 150
94
102
103
(-1)
Moldova
35
=
35
36
113
116
110
(+6)
Albania
33
31
33
105
111
110
(+1)
Kosovo
33
=
33
34
123
123
119
(+4)
Belarus
31
29
31
139
127
126
(+1)
Azerbaijan
29
28
27
133
140
126
(+14)
Kazakhstan
29
26
28
154
150
136
(+14)
Kyrgyz Republic
27
24
24
133
127
136
(-9)
Russia
27
28
28
144
144
142
(+2)
Ukraine
26
25
26
Ranking from 151 up to 177
157
154
152
(+2)
Tajikistan
23
22
22
Ranking among the 10 most corrupt countries worldwide
170
168
166
(+2)
Uzbekistan
18
17
17
170
168
169
(-1) 
Turkmenistan
17
=
17
17
 
 
 
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