Estonia now 18th worldwide on Corruption Perception Index

Euros. Source: (Marco Verch/Wikimedia Commons)

Transparency International on Tuesday published the results of its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2018, according to which Estonia, at 73 points, comes in 18th together with Ireland and Japan, having advanced three places compared with the previous year.

Countries on the index can score a maximum of 100 points, with 0 points meaning there is a lot of corruption, and 100 points that corruption is perceived as lo.

The 2018 index ratings are led by Denmark with 88 points, New Zealand with 87 points and Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland with 85 points each.

Compared to 2017, Estonia's ranking improved by 2 points with a final result of 73. It is also positive that Estonia is among the 20 countries in the world that show a significant statistical improvement since 2012.

Commenting on the results, Transparency International Estonia said that the improvement of the index in 2018 was helped along by political corruption cases that reached court the year before. These cases, the organisation thinks, demonstrated the independence of law enforcement from political power. The capability of local-level institutions after the administrative reform and local elections also seem to have had a positive impact.

"However, it is highlighted in the base analyses of the index that no extensive reforms have been carried out in Estonia to reduce corruption, which is why our point score has remained on the same level over the last few years," Erkka Jaakkola, chairman of Transparency International Estonia, said.

According to Jaakkola, it is worth mentioning that the CPI doesn't include the private sector or the movement of money of dubious origin, which is why the money-laundering case at the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, which kept Estonia in the international media for the entirety of last year, is not reflected in the index.

The organisation called for reforms that would increase the transparency of the decision-making and law-making processes, keep private interests separate from public power and help promote social control. This may include new rules on lobbying, regulating the so-called revolving door effect of people moving from the public to the private sector and back and the extensive protection of whistleblowers.

The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption across 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero, meaning highly corrupt, to 100, meaning very clean. The index assesses the level of corruption in the public sector and politics as perceived by foreign experts and business communities.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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