Estonia has been listed as 23rd in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 by Transparency International, an organisation dedicated to uprooting corruption worldwide.
Estonia has steadily improved its score in the past few years. Estonia’s 2015 score, which indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), was 70 – improved from 69 in 2014 and 68 in 2013.
The highest country listed in the 2015 index is Denmark with the score of 91. Finland comes second (90) and Sweden third (89). Estonia’s southern neighbour Latvia scored 40th with the score of 55 and Lithuania is listed 32nd (61).
Transparency International notes that 68 per cent of countries in the world have a “serious corruption problem”, adding that half of the G20 countries are among them. “Not one single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free,” the organisation adds.
On a more positive note, the organisation says that more countries improved their scores in 2015 than declined. “Some countries have improved in recent years – Greece, Senegal and the UK are among those that have seen a significant increase in scores since 2012,” the report says. “Others, including Australia, Brazil, Libya, Spain and Turkey, have deteriorated.”
What comes to the top countries in the list, the organisation notes that “just because a country has a clean public sector at home, doesn’t mean it isn’t linked to corruption elsewhere”.
“Take Sweden for instance. It comes third in the index, yet the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera – 37 per cent owned by the Swedish state – is facing allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which comes in at 153rd in the index,” the report reveals.
“Sweden isn’t the only “clean” country to be linked to dodgy behaviour overseas. As our research shows, half of all OECD countries are violating their international obligations to crack down on bribery by their companies abroad.”
This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index includes 168 countries and territories worldwide. Transparency International, that compiles the index, describes itself as an organisation that “gives voice to the victims and witnesses of corruption. We work together with governments, businesses and citizens to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals.”
Cover: Estonian euro coins (courtesy of Wikimedia).