Last Wednesday, Transparency International updated Corruption Perceptions Index.
The index covers perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 countries. Top performers share key characteristics: high levels of press freedom; access to budget information so the public knows where money comes from and how it is spent; high levels of integrity among people in power; and judiciaries that do not differentiate between rich and poor, and that are truly independent from other parts of government.
Amid the EU Member States, worries emerge for those countries in which a decrease in corruption and positive changes were expected. Hungary and Spain registered a deterioration.Nordic countries score highly again – with Denmark, Finland, Sweden coming top three. Some scores have improved significantly in recent years – most notably Greece, but also Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the UK.
In this context, Italy showed sign of discontinuity that should not be underestimated. Raffaele Cantone, the president of Italy’s anti-corruption authority (ANAC) which on Wednesday signed a deal to improve monitoring with Transparency International, said that results offered encouragement. Italy did better than in 2014, when it came 69th out of the 168 countries; but the way ahead is still long.
The only Member State to do worse in the ranking was Bulgaria, which came 69th with 41 points.
At the end of the day, there is still a lot of room for improvement both in Europe and Italy.