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Corruption, Transparency International |  Sweden is declining on the corruption index: – It has declined rapidly

Corruption, Transparency International | Sweden is declining on the corruption index: – It has declined rapidly

Sweden is the worst among the Nordic countries on the new corruption index. Now Ulf Kristersson and his government are announcing new measures to stifle the criminal economy in society, including by improving cooperation between different authorities.

Sweden features in a recent report by Transparency International on perceived corruption in the public sector. There they maintain a good distance from the countries at the bottom of the list, but they are among the Western European and EU countries with their lowest scores so far.

On the corruption index, Sweden loses more ground than its Nordic neighbours, and thus ends up in a high position among the Nordic countries.

Development has been going on for some time.

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– Penetrating the functions of society

The continuing negative development requires the government now to take a unified and systematic approach in working against corruption in Sweden, says Ulrik Achofod, Secretary General of Amnesty International. Transparency International Sweden.

Ashuvud points to a development where organized crime infiltrates social functions and uses companies for criminal activities. This is a development that requires new tools, he told Netafsen.

– What tools are we talking about?

– Among other things, we propose better monitoring of the register of real rights holders (registret över værkalka huvudmän), an area in which it currently fails and in which many companies are not examined. Another example is better background checks for employees in the public sector. These are simple measures to prevent crime and corruption from entering the public sector.

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– Globally, Sweden ranks well on this indicator. Is there cause for concern?

Sweden may be a leading country in this field, and we must compare ourselves with countries such as Denmark, Finland and Norway. Sweden has fallen rapidly, from 89th to 82nd, since 2015, Ašovud tells Netavseen.

He says it is true that globally Sweden has a low level of corruption in the public sector, but he says there is no reason for it to get worse.

Among the measures to be discussed in Sweden are increasing transparency in political party financing and communication between political decision-makers and lobby groups.

“Ultimately, it's about citizens' trust in the authorities,” says Ashuvud.

On Wednesday, the day after the CPI was introduced, the Christerson government announced a series of new measures to stifle society's criminal economy, an economy whose turnover is estimated at $100-$150 billion a year.

Western Europe and the European Union: the fall of eight countries

The CPI (Corruption Perceptions Index 2023) shows that anti-corruption efforts have stagnated or declined in more than three out of four Western European/EU countries. Of the 31 countries assessed, only six managed to perform better in terms of scores, while eight countries, including Sweden, have fallen since 2012.

With a score of 82 out of a possible 100, Sweden ranks in the same group as the Netherlands (79), Ireland (72) and the United Kingdom (71), all of which have preliminary rankings at the bottom of the index.

When Transparency International assesses changes in terms of statistical significance and the extent of widespread agreement on the underlying data material, Sweden also stands out. There is no doubt about the negative development in the period 2014-2023, this is the conclusion.

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Hence, Sweden is clearly contributing to breaking this trend, which is evident in the average scores achieved by Western Europe and European Union countries on the corruption index. In this year's report (Corruption Perceptions Index 2023), the region scored 65 points out of 100, falling for the first time in nearly a decade.

This is the consumer price index

  • Transparency International's corruption index (Corruption Perceptions IndexConsumer Price Index) measures perceived corruption in the public sector in 180 countries.
  • The index is based on the compilation of up to 13 data sources from independent institutions specialized in analyzing governance, business climate and country risks.
  • Countries are scored on a scale from 0 to 100.
  • Transparency International has used the same method since 2012. The index shows a clear trend; The global average (43) is unchanged for the twelfth year in a row. More than two-thirds of the countries surveyed have serious corruption problems, with a score below 50.

source: Transparency International Sweden.

Best in class: Denmark

Western Europe continues to rank better than other regions on the CPI. Only 13% of the countries surveyed in the region achieved a score of less than 50%. Denmark is best in class with a score of 90 out of 100 (Finland with 87 points and Norway with 84 is not far behind them. Hungary is at the bottom with 42 points. In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, 95 percent of countries achieve a corruption score level below 50 here, Georgia is best in class with a score of 53 out of 100, while Turkmenistan is worst with a score of 18 out of 100.

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The reason why Western Europe and the European Union countries are also suffering now, according to Transparency International, is that the fight against corruption has been undermined by the weakening of the principles of distribution of power and control over state bodies. The report also indicates that public confidence in politicians' ability to deal with these challenges is waning.

Ukraine is climbing

At the bottom of the list are countries such as Somalia (11), Venezuela (13), Syria (13), South Sudan (13), and Yemen (16).

Ukraine still suffers from corruption, but it can make progress. Despite the war and partial occupation, the country continues to rise in the index. In 2012, Ukraine had 26 points and was close to the bottom. In 2023, they will achieve 36 points.