According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2019, Estonia is the 18th least corrupt country in the world, having slightly improved its score compared with the previous year.
In the 2018 index, Estonia also ranked 18th in the world. The 180 countries in the index are given a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Estonia’s score in the 2019 index is 74, having improved from 2018 (73), 2017 (71) and 2016 (70). The least corrupt countries are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and businesspeople. “This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals,” the organisation said.
Estonia among the countries improving their scores
According to the index, more than two-thirds of countries – along with many of the world’s most advanced economies – are stagnating or showing signs of backsliding in their anti-corruption efforts. Since 2012, only 22 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Estonia. Twenty-one have significantly declined, including Australia and Canada.
To reduce corruption and restore trust in politics, Transparency International recommends that governments reinforce checks and balances and promote separation of powers; tackle preferential treatment to ensure budgets and public services aren’t driven by personal connections or biased towards special interests; control political financing to prevent excessive money and influence in politics; manage conflicts of interest and address “revolving doors”; regulate lobbying activities by promoting open and meaningful access to decision-making; strengthen electoral integrity and prevent and sanction misinformation campaigns; empower citizens and protect activists, whistleblowers and journalist.
Transparency International has compiled the index since 1995.
Cover: Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 map.