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Corruption in 2023: A Worldwide Overview

Corruptie in 2023 Een Wereldwijd Overzicht

In 2023, corruption remains a major problem affecting countries around the world. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), published annually by Transparency International, provides an insight into the extent to which corruption is perceived in 180 countries. With a scale from 0 (very corrupt) to 100 (very clean), the CPI provides an in-depth analysis of the state of global corruption. The 2023 report was recently published and we are pleased to provide an update on the main conclusions from this report.

Alarming Global Trends
  • Still high levels of corruption: The recent 2023 CPI report shows that corruption is still a common occurrence. This is a troubling finding that points to major problems in public sectors.
  • Global low scores: More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on the CPI, indicating serious corruption problems. These low scores highlight the magnitude of the problem and the need for urgent reform.
  • Global decline: The world average stands at only 43, showing that most countries are either making no progress or even regressing in their fight against corruption. But 28 countries have improved their CPI score since 2012, while 34 have actually scored lower.
Democratic countries score higher

Countries with strong rule of law and well-functioning democratic institutions often top the index. Democratic countries generally perform much better than authoritarian regimes in controlling corruption - full democracies have an average CPI of 73, flawed democracies have an average of 48, and non-democratic regimes only 32.

Regional Perspectives
  • Europe: Although Western Europe and the EU score higher overall, declining political integrity causes the regional average to fall.
  • Global stagnation: All regions, including Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, face challenges in corruption and weak rule of law. This indicates global stagnation in the fight against corruption.
Best and worst performers

For the sixth consecutive year, Denmark tops the rankings with a score of 90. Finland and New Zealand follow closely with scores of 87 and 85, respectively. Norway (84), Singapore (83), Sweden (82), Switzerland (82), the Netherlands (79), Germany (78) and Luxembourg (78) complete the 2023 top 10.

Meanwhile, countries experiencing conflict or where there are severely restricted freedoms and weak democratic institutions score the worst. This year, Somalia (11), Venezuela (13), Syria (13), and South Sudan (13) are at the bottom of the index. Yemen (16), Nicaragua (17), North Korea (17), Haiti (17), Equatorial Guinea (17), Turkmenistan (18) and Libya (18) are the next lowest performing countries.

Conclusion

The 2023 CPI report sheds clear light on the state of corruption worldwide. It underscores the need for strengthened efforts to tackle corruption, strengthen the rule of law, and promote transparency and accountability. While some countries are making progress, the global fight against corruption remains a complex and challenging task that requires determination and coordinated action.

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