Why is there less corruption in Europe?

Transparency International: "Corruption Kills"

Pandemic means a state of emergency and non-stop for everyone. For a year now, governments around the world have played a special role. They have to manage the state of emergency: get medical equipment, import masks, organize vaccines, put together aid packages, distribute funds. ″ Unfortunately, a pandemic is also a good time for corrupt governments, ″ says Daniel Eriksson, Managing Director at Transparency International.

The non-governmental organization publishes its corruption index once a year. This year the corruption experts have focused on the link between corruption and health care. "It turns out that there is a connection between the level of corruption and the response to the health crisis caused by the pandemic," Eriksson told DW.

Two thirds of the world is corrupt

The procurement processes for medical devices and masks, in particular, are not transparent in authoritarian governments. ″ That makes this process attractive, of course, to let money wander into one's own pockets in order to enrich oneself at the expense of the population. Because in the end, less investment in the health system will be invested in poorer countries, for example in Asia and Africa. ″ We can say very specifically here: Corruption kills. ″

Overall, the world is moving on a similar level of corruption as in the previous year. Transparency International awards points for the annual ranking. The scale ranges from zero for completely corrupt to 100 for absolutely clean. In 2020, two thirds of all countries will not reach the minimum limit of 50 points. ″ You could also say that two thirds of the world are corrupt. But it is also in some cases the countries that appear at the top of the list that make corruption possible in the countries at the end of the list. "

According to Transparency, the index primarily records how common bribery, embezzlement and nepotism are in the respective countries, but also whether there are laws against corruption and whether these are enforced. To do this, the organization surveys country experts and managers.

Democratic countries do better

According to the current ranking, anyone who lives in Denmark and New Zealand can be happy. The two countries get the highest score, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland. Germany comes in 8th place in the ranking and receives 80 points as in 2019.

It looks particularly bleak in Somalia and South Sudan. According to the organization, this is where corruption is most widespread. The situation is similar in Venezuela, Yemen and Syria. The organization has been determining the values ​​since 2004. "In some countries we can see that they have continuously improved in recent years," says Eriksson. This is what happened in Greece, Myanmar and Ecuador. The opposite is the case in Lebanon, Malawi and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Overall, however, it shows : "The more democratic, open and transparent societies are, the more able they are to act against corruption. And we also see that some countries undermine freedom of expression and disregard human rights, which then also damages their ability to act against corruption."

With the blockchain against corruption?

All in all, according to the results of Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa comes off worst in the world with an average score of 32 points. With an average of 66 points, Western Europe is the front runner of the regions worldwide.

The corruption index has been compiled since 2004. Above all, the organization wants to make nepotism and corruption visible around the world. "And we want to achieve change," said Eriksson. The organization is on site in around 100 countries. They are currently working on a ten-year plan, in which technologies such as blockchain should play a role. This technology can be used for this To make societies more resistant to corruption, otherwise authoritarian regimes could use the same technologies to ″ enrich themselves further ″.