Czech Republic Remains Below the EU Average In Corruption Index, Despite Slight Improvements
The Czech Republic has a long-term lack of a strategy to limit corruption in the country, especially from political representatives. Photo credit: Freepik.
Berlin/Prague, Jan 31 (CTK) – The Czech Republic has been ranked 41st out of 180 countries in the 2022 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released today by Transparency International (TI). The country scored 56 out of 100 points, two more than last year.
After ranking 19th in the 27-member European Union for three years, the Czech Republic is now 16th, together with Italy and Slovenia. In the EU, Bulgaria (43 points) and Hungary (42 points) have the lowest CPI ratings.
Denmark has the best rating globally, with 90 points, followed by Finland and New Zealand (87). At the other end of the scale are Syria, South Sudan (each 13) and Somalia (12).
The main problem in the Czech Republic is a long-term lack of a strategy to limit corruption in the country, especially on the part of political representatives from all parties, said TI.
It also noted there was no determination to adopt ambitious and systemic changes. The development of the situation in the country in the past ten years resembles a ride on a rollercoaster, going up and down repeatedly, wrote the organisation.
“The government of Petr Fiala (ODS) represents no significant change in this respect. It seems that it is satisfied that Andrej Babis (ANO) is not the prime minister anymore and has forgotten that he may become prime minister again,” said Ondrej Kopecny, Czech TI branch director. “The government coalition has not yet found courage to amend the absolutely deficient law on conflicts of interest, its proposal for the protection of whistleblowers is only a shadow of a really effective solution, and the weak plans to regulate lobbying do not bring much hope either.”
Kopecny said the attitude of the government parties to corruption affairs is also a disappointment. “If they concern their members, we can hear lots of excuses, downplaying of information or installing suspected politicians into advisory posts, as in the past,” he said.
Petr Leyer, a board member of the Czech TI branch, said the CPI needs to be seen in a long-term perspective as it shows the development and trends of the given society. “The Czech Republic has clearly been treading water for fifteen years. It is not markedly sinking like, for example, Hungary, but it has not been improving in general,” Leyer said.
The Justice Ministry and the government made important progress in pushing through anti-corruption proposals last year, the ministry’s spokesman Vladimir Repka told CTK in reaction to the TI report. The proposed bills on lobbying, protection of whistleblowers and public prosecutor’s offices clearly proved this, he said.
As well as TI, the Pirate Party also had reservations about the bill on whistleblowers, but the ministry said it did not consider the criticism justified.
Public prosecutors and the Pirates criticised the bill on public prosecutor’s offices, mainly as it does not include clear rules under which the government may dismiss the prosecutor general, although the government promised to provide these in its policy statement.