Europe scores high on anti-corruption index
According to Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, European countries are among the least corrupt in the world. The anti-corruption watchdog says that even problem-child Romania has improved its rating. There have also been positive developments outside the European Union.
However, the anti-corruption ratings are not based on demonstrable facts; there's no other way to explain Surinam's rapid improvement on the index. In 2006, Surinam was 90th out of 180 countries ranked by Transparency International. This year, the former Dutch colony jumped to 72nd place, sharing its ranking with Brazil and China. However, there is no evidence that a demonstrable shift in the political or economic climate has taken place in the country. Surinam was not among the Inter-American countries that signed an anti-corruption declaration last year.
Transparency International's European director Miklos Marschall says: "While indeed perceptions can be influenced by many things, overall they give you a realistic picture. Maybe for the first time in the history of CPI, there is an overall trend of little improvements. And EU membership, the process through which these new members became fully fledged members of the EU, had its positive benefits through external pressure. That is what you can see in Slovenia, Estonia, but also in relatively corrupt countries like Bulgaria and Romania."