Transparency International: Bulgaria Has EU Countries' Worst Corruption Perceptions Score

Industry / Bulgaria
Галина Александрова
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The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2018 released by Transparency International on Tuesday gives Bulgaria the lowest corruption perceptions score of all the EU Member States.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. With a score of 42, Bulgaria ranks 77th in the world. Denmark is the top country in the world with a score of 88, while Somalia ranks last with a score of 10.

The average regional score for Western Europe and the EU is 66.

With a one-point drop since last year, Bulgaria is mentioned among the decliners in Western Europe and the EU. The other bottom scorers are Greece (45), which dropped three points since 2017, and Hungary (46), which dropped eight points over the last five years. "Hungary and Malta have seen the sharpest decline in their respective CPI scores in recent years, allowing corruption to worsen. While Romania and Bulgaria had been making some progress on the CPI in recent years, both witness a decline by a single point in a year that has seen a serious corruption scandal in Bulgaria," the report says.

Transparency International notes that Romania (47) and Bulgaria are currently subject to the EU's Cooperation Verification Mechanism, which monitors whether they are meeting their anti-corruption and judicial reform commitments. "However, both countries have made little progress on judicial reforms and anti-corruption efforts," the analysis says.

It also says that many Bulgarians "distrust political institutions and do not feel well represented. With little control over political party financing and few checks and balances, Bulgaria also lacks an independent and transparent media".

Transparency International claims that media ownership in Bulgaria is "often unclear" and that "many outlets are financially dependent on state advertising, which may colour their reporting and affect any criticism they may otherwise provide to government authorities".

The global analysis section of the 2018 CPI says that "the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world". More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of just 43. The report notes "a disturbing link between corruption and the health of democracies," saying that there are no democracies that score below 50 on the CPI, and very few countries with autocratic characteristics that score higher than 50.

Source: BTA



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