Berlin Bribes, paid luxury vacations, shady agreements: In the fight against bribery and corruption, countries around the world are making little progress – according to a study, not in Germany either.
The problem in this country is limited, the anti-corruption organization Transparency said on Tuesday. But she also sees considerable room for improvement in the Federal Republic, especially when it comes to bribing MPs.
Transparency International publishes a Corruption Index each year, ranking 180 countries worldwide. The degree of corruption perceived in politics and administration is measured.
The public sectors of the Scandinavian countries in particular are among the most transparent and incorruptible in an international comparison. Denmark and Finland score best in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Sweden and Norway are other Nordic countries in the top ten. Germany is in ninth place.
The perception of corruption in German politics and administration has not changed for years after the CPI. For the deputy chairwoman of Transparency Germany, Margarete Bause, this is no reason to be happy. It shows that Germany is making “not decisive” progress in fighting corruption, she said at the presentation of the CPI 2022.
Transparency International still sees “many construction sites” in the fight against corruption
According to Bause, scandals such as the mask affair during the corona pandemic or the tax revelations about cum-ex stock deals have “weakened trust in the integrity of politics and business”. The corruption expert rated the introduction of the lobby register as an important reform. But there are still “many construction sites”.
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A tightening of the law on the bribery of MPs is overdue from Bause’s point of view. “Also, we continue to await the introduction of the legislative footprint and independent lobby scrutiny,” she said.
In their coalition agreement, the traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP have decided to tighten up the lobby register introduced by the previous government. Among other things, a so-called executive and legislative footprint is to be introduced.
This means that all new laws should show which interest groups have influenced them. However, this has not yet been initiated. There should also be tightening of the law on bribery of MPs.
The FDP politician Wolfgang Kubicki sees a need for action, especially with regard to the bribery of MPs. “In essence, it must be about MPs not selling their MPs in the private sector,” said the Bundestag Vice President of the Handelsblatt. In the affair about the mask deals, everyone agreed that such behavior was something wrong. “Nevertheless, in many cases it was not punishable under the current standards of the criminal code.” This contradiction must be resolved.
Kubicki is skeptical about tightening the lobby register law. Especially during the corona crisis, the executive maintained an “uncomfortable secrecy” when it came to contacts with companies, associations and individual actors.
“When I recently asked the Federal Ministry of Health about talks with the Internet giants Google and Facebook during the corona pandemic, they hid behind the statement that the state secretaries and ministers of state did not have to document such conversations,” said the FDP politician. “I think enabling effective parliamentary control here is more important and more effective than reforming the lobby register.”
Corruption: Why Turkey and Hungary stand out
Internationally, too, the fight against corruption is making little progress. Progress is measured on a scale from 0 (perceived a high level of corruption) to 100 (no perceived corruption). According to this, Turkey and Hungary are among the countries that have lost the most points in a global comparison over the past ten years. Both countries receive 13 points less than in the 2012 CPI.
According to Transparency, the setbacks are due to the curtailment of the independence of the judiciary and restrictions on freedom of the press and civil society. The non-governmental organization explained that all of the characteristics are crucial for fighting corruption and curbing abuse of power.
According to Transparency, 72 of the 180 countries surveyed have improved since 2012, including Italy and Greece. However, 92 states have also deteriorated over the same period. Somalia brings up the rear.
It is also remarkable that constitutional and democratic countries, which for years have been pioneers in the fight against corruption, have made steps backwards in recent years. Although Australia and Canada are still in the top places, they are now achieving significantly worse values than in 2012.
Transparency International’s Corruption Index is based on surveys from 13 independent sources
The Corruption Index is based on assessments by experts and surveys of executives compiled by Transparency International from 13 sources from independent institutions such as the World Bank. So far, there is no indicator that objectively and comprehensively measures the level of corruption.
The Transparency International index includes, among other things, observations of criminal offenses such as bribery and corruption, experiences of a lack of state measures to combat corruption or the perception of the state being taken over by interest groups. Tax fraud, money laundering, illegal financial flows or other forms of corruption in the private sector are not taken into account.
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First publication on 01/31/23 at 07:11.