Corruption in Europe

How well do European countries score when it comes to corruption?

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Map of corruption in Europe.

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Recently, Transparency International released their 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index. The Index ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The results are given on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

As corruption entails illegal and deliberately hidden activities, it is very difficult to measure it based on hard statistics. Therefore, perceptions are a more reliable measurement for corruption.

The index covers the following manifestations of public sector corruption:

  • Bribery
  • Diversion of public funds
  • Officials using their public office for private gain without facing consequences
  • Ability of governments to contain corruption in the public sector
  • Excessive red tape in the public sector which may increase opportunities for corruption
  • Nepotistic appointments in the civil service
  • Laws ensuring that public officials must disclose their finances and potential conflicts of interest
  • Legal protection for people who report cases of bribery and corruption
  • State capture by narrow vested interests
  • Access to information on public affairs/government activities

Europe is home to some of the world’s least corrupt countries. Eight out 10 countries in the global top 10 are European. Denmark and Finland even rank first and second globally. These countries have strong institutions, transparent government practices, and effective anti-corruption measures in place. In contrast, countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey rank lower on the index due to high levels of corruption.

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