Transparency International launches the 2019 Corruption Perception Index

Press release

January 23, 2020

Analysis reveals that corruption is ubiquitous in countries where big money influences political power.

On January 23, 2020 Transparency International released the Corruption Perception Index for 2019 (CPI 2019). Over 2/3 of the countries included in the ranking are stagnating or showing signs of regress in their anti-corruption efforts

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, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International.

Countries in which elections and political party financing are open to undue influence from vested interests are less able to combat corruption, analysis of the results finds.

“Frustration with government corruption and lack of trust in institutions speaks to a need for greater political integrity,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. “Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems.”

The CPI 2019 was calculated on the basis of 13 studies of well-known organizations (including 9 – for the Republic of Moldova) to evaluate the level of perception of corruption in the public sector in 180 countries and territories. The index is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where “0” means total corruption, and “100” – total lack of corruption.

Over 2/3 of the countries included in the IPC 2019 ranking have a score below 50 points, the average score being only 43 points. Leading the CPI 2019 ranking are Denmark and New Zealand (both with 87 points) and Finland (86 points), at the opposite pole – Syria, South Sudan and Somalia, respectively, with a score of 13, 12 and 9 points . Since 2012 over 20 countries have significantly improved their scores, in particular, Estonia, Greece and Guyana. Nearly 20 countries fell significantly in the ranking, including Australia, Canada and Nicaragua.

Four of G7 countries have a lower score than last year: Canada (4 points), France (3), the United Kingdom (3) and the USA (2). Germany and Japan did not make changes, while Italy advanced by one point. To maintain its primacy, many of the advanced economies cannot afford to beat the pace in the crackdown on corruption.

Corruption and political integrity

Countries where funding regulations for political parties and election campaigns are comprehensive and systemically applied have an average CPI score of 70 points, while countries where these regulations do not exist or are not applied have an average CPI of only 34 and 35 points respectively. About 60% of the countries that in 2012 significantly improved their CPI scores, also strengthened the regulations regarding the donations of electoral campaigns.

The Republic of Moldova in the Corruption Perception Index 2019 ranking

In 2019, according to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index the Republic of Moldova registered a score of 32 points, being 120th out of 180 countries (in CPI 2018, Moldova, with a score of 33 points, ranked 117th out of 180 countries). For comparison, in 2019 Georgia is 44th, Romania – 70, Armenia – 77, Ukraine – 126, Russia – 137, Uzbekistan – 153, Turkmenistan – 165.

The year 2019 for the Republic of Moldova was a difficult one: three governments changed; a situational alliance was formed that removed from power the oligarch who captured the state, began to adopt laws designed to dismantle the oligarchic regime. Unfortunately, after the sudden disruption of this alliance the priorities of the new government were immediately reconfigured. Despite the initial effort made in Parliament to elucidate the fraud in the banking system, the report of the commission of inquiry remained without due attention.

The relevant bodies declared an intensification of the investigations, but the assets of the persons involved in the theft of the billion, money laundering, the capture of the state, remained in their control. Although the General Prosecutor’s Office has verified the activity of specialized prosecutor’s offices, however, the true reform of the entire judicial system is stagnant. Much has been invested in the creation of the Agency for the Recovery of Criminal Property, but the process of recovering the fraudulent money is still dragging on.

To support the democratic rule of law in the Republic of Moldova, the countries of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership must develop and adopt laws similar to the Magnitsky Act, applying travel  restrictions and freezing the assets of the great corrupted ones, strengthening the legal framework to prevent money laundering and circulation of crypto-currencies, boosting the activity of the newly created European Public Prosecutor’s Office and facilitating the recovery of fraudulent assets.

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