These are the most corrupt countries in Europe presently. Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are known to be weak. That is, countries with higher rates of corruption also tend to have weaker democratic institutions and fewer political rights.
Many experts have it that more than two-thirds of the countries in the world are corrupt. Most of these corrupt acts include blatant bribery, rigged elections, public fund embezzlement, etc.
NaijaQuest.com used data from 2019 Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index and Forbes List of corrupt countries in the World, the following are the top 10 most corrupt countries in Europe.
Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries In Europe 2020
1. Cyprus – Corruption Score: 59
The most corrupt European country is Cyprus. Having gained two points to her previous corruption score of 57, the country is said to have improved in the fight against corruption. The country is the third most populous island in the Eastern Mediterranean. According to the 2017 International Monetary Fund estimates, the country’s GDP is below the average of the European Union. Many experts have attributed this to the numerous cases of corruption in the country.
2. Luxembourg – Corruption Score: 80
Luxembourg is the second most corrupt country in Europe with respect to its corruption score. Even though the country boasts of a culture of openness, there have been numerous corruption cases in the country. The country also has a known strong legal framework aimed at curbing corruption. An investigation called LuxLeaks currently exposed corruption in the tax system and some shady deals by multinational companies in 2015.
3. Germany – Corruption Score: 80
On a global view, Germany is one of the least corrupt countries in the World. However, in Europe, it is the second most corrupt country with a corruption score of 80. Despite the numerous corruption cases in the country, Germany has shown numerous efforts in fighting it. The German Criminal Code applies to individuals and this makes it illegal to pay, accept or offer any form of bribe. In addition, companies are held civilly liable under the Administrative Offences Act. With this, fines of millions of Euros and all ‘economic advantages’ obtained through bribery will be confiscated.
4. Netherland – Corruption Score: 82
The third most corrupt country in Europe is Netherland. The country has however been able to curtail the spread of corruption looking at its previous corruption score. Currently, the Dutch Penal Code ensures that public administration is kept transparent at all times. This is achieved by making it illegal for any individual to receive or give bribes in both public and private sectors, including any foreign public official. In addition, any Dutch and foreign company and its subsidiaries held liable for corruption offenses committed by any individual working on their behalf and can be ordered to pay up to ten percent of their turnover.
5. Norway – Corruption Score: 84
Over the past years, Norway has maintained a higher position in the list of corrupt countries in Europe. However, the country has managed to maintain the scoreline of 84. This is because the country now has a hard line on corruption. In addition, the Norwegian Penal Code now criminalizes breach of trust, active and passive bribery, money laundering. Also, the country has the best press freedom in the World according to the 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
6. Switzerland – Corruption Score: 85
Consistent with the 85 scores for the past two years now, Switzerland is the fifth most corrupt country in Europe. The country is able to fight corruption by adopting two acts. The country’s Criminal Code penalizes both active and passive bribery along with the bribery of foreign public officials. The Unfair Competition Act governs bribery in the private sector. However, despite the two acts, the country is still faced with one form of scandal or the other. One notable case is that of Addax Petroleum known for paying the sum of 32 Million Dollars to settle an investigation into suspicious payments to a Nigerian Company in 2017.
7. Sweden – Corruption Score: 85
With a corruption score of 85, Sweden is the sixth most corrupt country in Europe. Even though the country is well known for transparency and the absence of corruption, there have been very high profile lawsuits that have tarnished the image of the country. For instance, in 2019, a Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson agreed to pay over $1 Billion as a fine following a United States Corruption Case spanning nearly 20 years.
8. Finland – Corruption Score: 86
Finland is also one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Looking at the previous corruption score, the country has greatly fought corruption. Currently, there is almost no corruption in the public sector. This is because of the country’s culture of openness, a strong system of both internal and external controls, and the involvement of civil society in public affairs management. However, there have been cases of isolated corruption though they are very few.
9. New Zealand – Corruption Score: 87
The ninth most corrupt European country is New Zealand. The country is able to fight corruption by having both the Crimes Act and the Secret Commissions Acts which ensure that both active and passive bribery in both public and private sectors are prohibited. In addition, there is the presence of a heavy financial penalty. In fact, law violators are expected to face up to 14 years behind bars.
10. Denmark – Corruption Score: 87
Since 2018, Denmark has lost a point in the corruption score and this implies that it now occupies the top spot when it comes to the top most corrupt countries in Europe. The country which is a Scandinavian country doesn’t have a good record over the past years. This is supported by the fact that its main bank known as Danske Bank was known to be involved in a huge money-laundering scandal through its Estonian branch.
The more the corruption score of a country, the more pure the country is. That is, on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 implies highly corrupt while 100 implies very clean. Therefore, Denmark is the least most corrupt country in Europe.