Estonia improves its position in Transparency’s Corruption Perceptions Index

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2023, Estonia is one of the least corrupt countries in the world, improving its ranking from 14th last year to 12th in 2023.

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2023 measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world.

Estonia shares 12th place in the 2023 index with Canada.

Transparency International doesn’t comment on Estonia’s rather good standing, but it does give each country a score, with 100 being “very clean” and 0 being “highly corrupt”. Estonia’s score in the 2023 index is 76.

Estonia scored 74 points in the 2022 and 2021 rankings.

Corruption thrives around the world

Denmark leads the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 90, followed by Finland (87), New Zealand (85) and Norway (84). Singapore and Sweden rank sixth (83), the Netherlands eighth (79) and Germany and Luxembourg ninth (78).

The United Kingdom ranks 20th (71) and the United States 24th (69). Lithuania ranks 34th (61), Latvia 36th (60) and Russia 141st (26). The most corrupt countries in the 2023 index are Somalia, Venezuela, Syria and South Sudan.

Money in an envelope. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash. The photo is illustrative.

Corruption is on the rise around the world, according to Transparency’s latest index.

“Over two-thirds of countries score below 50 out of 100, which strongly indicates that they have serious corruption problems. The global average is stuck at only 43, while the vast majority of countries have made no progress or declined in the last decade. What is more, 23 countries fell to their lowest scores to date this year.”

“The global trend of weakening justice systems is reducing accountability for public officials, which allows corruption to thrive,” Transparency said.

The organisation also points out that countries ranking high in the Corruption Perceptions Index “have an impunity problem of their own, even if this isn’t reflected in their scores. Many cross-border corruption cases have involved companies from top-scoring countries that resort to bribery when doing business abroad. Others have implicated professionals who sell secrecy or otherwise enable foreign corrupt officials. And yet, top-scoring countries often fail to go after perpetrators of transnational corruption and their enablers.”

The EU’s checks and balances have weakened

“Corruption will continue to thrive until justice systems can punish wrongdoing and keep governments in check. When justice is bought or politically interfered with, it is the people that suffer. Leaders should fully invest in and guarantee the independence of institutions that uphold the law and tackle corruption. It is time to end impunity for corruption.”

“While Western Europe and the European Union remains the top-scoring region, its regional average score dropped to 65 this year, as checks and balances weaken and political integrity erodes.”

Euro currency sign in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Mauro Sbicego on Unsplash.

Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has become one of the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The index scores 180 countries and territories around the world based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others.

Transparency International is a German non-governmental organisation founded in 1993. Based in Berlin, its nonprofit purpose is to take action to combat global corruption with civil societal anti-corruption measures and to prevent criminal activities arising from corruption.

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