Transparency International –Bulgaria announced the results of the International Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018 at a press conference in Bulgarian News Agency.

Bulgaria’s corruption perceptions index for 2018 is 42 points, with the country score of 77th in the world ranking. In the regional ranking of the Member States of the European Union, our country continues to take last place (the average value of the EU index is 64.6).

In this year’s ranking, the country score is with six positions down in the world ranking (from 71 in 2017 to 77th this year), which is a retreat indicator compare with other countries. The result in 2018 does not allow the country to move forward from its last place in the European Union.

The results for the period 2012-2018 gives critical assessment – there is a stagnation in the fight against corruption in comparison to positive developments in a significant part of the other EU Member States, Bulgaria is seriously lagging behind.

The data show that despite the relative political and economic stability, the main weaknesses in the seven-year period are related to the efficiency of the use of public resources, the functioning of the supervisory institutions and the justice system in the country.

Denmark and New Zealand top the Index with 88 and 87 points, respectively. Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria are at the bottom of the index, with 10, 13 and 13 points, respectively. The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 35).

More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of only 43. Since 2012, only 20 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Argentina and Côte D’Ivoire, and 16 have significantly declined, including, AustraliaChile and Malta.

Corruption and the crisis of democracy

Cross analysis with global democracy data reveals a link between corruption and the health of democracies. Full democracies score an average of 75 on the CPI; flawed democracies score an average of 49; hybrid regimes – which show elements of autocratic tendencies – score 35; autocratic regimes perform worst, with an average score of just 30 on the CPI.

Exemplifying this trend, the CPI scores for Hungary and Turkey decreased by eight and nine points respectively over the last five years. At the same time, Turkey was downgraded from ‘partly free’ to ‘not free’, while Hungary registered its lowest score for political rights since the fall of communism in 1989. These ratings reflect the deterioration of rule of law and democratic institutions, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media, in those countries.

More generally, countries with high levels of corruption can be dangerous places for political opponents. Practically all of the countries where political killings are ordered or condoned by the government are rated as highly corrupt on the CPI.

You could read more information about CPI 2018 here or on the website of Transparency International.