Croatia has placed 50 with 51 points on the Corruption Perceptions Index rank listing of 168 countries. Croatia has improved by three points and nine places compared to last year.
According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, the most credible method for comparing the relative level of corruption throughout the world, the least corrupt countries in 2015 are Denmark with 91 points followed by Finland with 90 points, Sweden with 89, New Zealand with 88 and The Netherlands and Norway both with 87 points. The most corrupt countries, scoring only 8 points, are North Korea and Somalia.
‘The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that positive shifts in the fight against corruption are finally visible. Transparency and the determination of independent institutions and public authorities dealing with the prevention and suppression of corruption are the key to success and the achievement of these results.
This is particularly true for the work of DORH and USKOK whose job is to uncover and prosecute corruptive practices. The judicial system must therefore be decisive and effective with expeditious, just and timely legal processes.
State authorities which act preventively in the fight against corruption such as the State Audit Office, the Commission for Conflict of Interest, the Information Commissioner and the State Commission for Supervision of Public Procurement Procedure must be given adequate financial as well as expert human resources. All political influence on their work must be prevented.
It is particularly important to encourage citizen activism and commitment to positive social values such as honesty and integrity. People must be free from fear when reporting corruption and any irregularities whatsoever. Civil society organisations play a huge role in this regard and we must encourage these organisations to work on their members to volunteer more.
We particularly need to guard against the public being given the impression that politicians use corruption scandals to settle political scores. A society without corruption and corruptive behaviour is a precondition not just for attracting foreign investors but also for the development of the Croatian economy and society as a whole.’ said Davorka Budimir, President of Transparency International Croatia.
The average Corruption Perceptions Index score in the European Union is 67 points which means that Croatia is far below this average but it is still above the global average of 42 points. European Union countries that have improved the most on the Corruption Perceptions Index include the Czech Republic by 5 points, The Netherlands and Austria by 4 points, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Croatia and Romania by 3 points. Hungary had the biggest drop of 3 points followed by Bulgaria, Cyprus and Spain with a 2 point drop.
In relation to our region, Croatia and Albania improved the most - Croatia from 48 to 51 points and Albania from 33 to 36 points. Slovenia and Montenegro improved by 2 points - Slovenia from 58 to 60 points and Montenegro from 42 to 44 points. Kosovo has remained the same on 33 points and all the other countries recorded a drop in their rankings. Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina by 1 point – Serbia down to 40 from 41 and Bosnia and Herzegovina down to 38 points from 39 points previously. Macedonia had the biggest drop in rankings with 3 points from 45 to 42 points.
The Corruption Perceptions Index shows the level of corruption in the public sector on a scale from 0 to 100 whereby 0 represents the most corrupt countries and corruption would not exist in a country that would score 100 points. Corruption refers to illegal activities that are deliberately covered up and see the light of day through scandals, investigations and court trials.
The Corruption Perceptions Index shows that many countries today face the threat of corruption at all levels of government. Countries ranked highest show that a transparent system stimulates social responsibility and reduces corruption. In more corrupt countries, one of the biggest challenges is corruption in the public sector, particularly in areas such as the judicial system and political parties. Corruption can be reduced by freedom of access to information and clearly defined rules of behaviour for all those in public office. On the other side of the coin, a lack of accountability in the public sector with an inefficient public administration is conducive to corruption.