Czech Republic slips in corruption perception rankings
The Czech Republic has slipped 10 places on a list of 176 countries in watchdog Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Government pledges to curb corruption were largely ineffective last year with warnings that interest groups are “capturing” the state.
Among former Communist bloc countries, the Czech Republic trails the Baltic states and Poland in its anti-corruption performance but is still better than Slovakia, which was placed 22nd in Europe compared to the Czechs’ position of 19th. Despite a pledge to combat corruption by the current government, the country fell short. Some of the reasons? What TI labelled “legislativní tápání” a lack of progress in legislation tackling corruption, including a bill on whistleblowing.
The head of Transparency International’s Czech branch, David Ondráčka suggests that the country’s failure to improve was predictable.
“Stagnation is kind of an obvious consequence of an unfinished job that is being done in anti-corruption policy. We see a lot of cases which got stuck during the judicial procedure, which are seen as flagships in the anti-corruption fight.
“Lastly, we see a trend of ‘state capture’ which is very visible. Oligarchs are entering politics and are buying media, and are trying to influence legislation. I believe that this is what is reflected in this year’s Index, what is reflected in the perception of corruption.”