The Corruption Perception Index for Bulgaria is 42 which ranks the country on 78 place in the world ranking



Global highlights

The Corruption Perception Index for 2022 shows: no progress in the fight against corruption, clear connection has been established between violence, authoritarianism and corruption. Global peace is under threat, with corruption both key cause and a result of this situation.

This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows an unfavorable picture of the condition of corruption worldwide. Most countries have made little or no progress in fighting corruption over the past decade, with over two-thirds of them scoring below 50. Corruption undermines trust in governments and their ability to protect society, leading to increased security threats.

The Index for Bulgaria

Bulgaria score leaves the country in the bottom of the list from European countries together with Hungary and in 72nd place in the world ranking together with Hungary. Bulgaria is included for the twenty-fifth time in the ranking of Transparency International.

Comparing with 2021, the Index shows a slight increase of 1 score. That difference is not significant and there are two circumstances to be reconsidered: the Index score below 50 shows regular problems with corruption and ineffective results and significant increase of more than 3 points is required to mark obvious progress.

The analysis for Bulgaria for the past 10 year, between 2012 – 2022 gives critical evaluation and shows that there is lack of progress in the fight against corruption compared with the positive development in some of the EU member states such as Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic.

Bulgaria is one of the three countries individually named in the 2022 CPI report.

The main risks and problems facing Bulgaria:

The fragmentation of political parties that leads to an ongoing political crisis and governance of interim governments which are not subject to effective control and accountability.

The political corruption which leaves matter unresolved concerning the lobbying in the legislative process. The latest amendments to the electoral legislation increase the risk from manipulations in the upcoming parliamentary and local elections in 2023.

Lack of visible and effective actions for the implementation of the National Anti-corruption Strategy 2021-2027.

Bulgaria is one of the few countries in Central and Eastern Europe that have joined the European Union, which still do not have legislation for lobbying activities.

Most of the management and members of bodies of 18 independent regulatory institutions and  commissions ( the parliamentary quota of Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria is not occupied, the Inspectorate of Supreme Judicial Council is not occupied, part of the governors of the Bulgarian National Bank, the mandate of the Commission on Protection of Competition and the Personal Data Protection Commission have lapsed, etc. ) have lapsed their mandate and that leads to a crisis of legitimacy and to a limited opportunities to implement their policies.

The CPI is a complex of researchers, reports and analytical assessments and includes data from 10 studies including assessments from financial and economic institutions and organizations in the field of democratic governance and politics.

When forming the CPI for Bulgaria the positive assessments are due to the process of accession to the Eurozone which leads to a strict fiscal policy approach, improvements in the electoral process in October 2022 and better media environment related to information about fraud in governance.

Negative assessments are related to ineffective functioning institutions, delay of necessary reforms in key areas and ineffective investigations of corruption, inefficiently and inappropriate public spending, reduced level of transparency and accountability of the executive and legislative power institutions as well as limited possibilities to exercise civil control over the institutions.

Western Europe and EU

The average score of the CPI for the member states of the European Union for 2022 is 63.11, and the inclusion of Norway, Switzerland and Iceland in the pan-European ranking forms a total regional assessment score of the EU and the rest of the countries of Western Europe of 66 .

The results of the CPI 2022 show that the Scandinavian countries once again score the highest. First place in the European ranking is taken by Denmark, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany. The evaluations of these countries testify to effectively implemented policies regulating the behavior of politicians and government employees, as well as working systems showing transparency and accountability in the functioning of institutions.

Comparing Bulgaria and the other countries from EU that became part of it on a later stage, significant difference stands out.

In this regard, for the period 2012-2022 the score of Estonia (increase from 64 to 74 ), Lithuania (increase from 54 to 62), Latvia (increase from 49 score to 59), the Czech Republic (increase from 49 to 56 ) and neighboring Greece (which overcame the crisis and from score of 36 in 2012 reached an CPI result of 52  this year). Croatia increased its CPI from 46 to 50 score this year.

At the bottom of the European ranking with scores under 50 are Romania (46), Bulgaria (43) and Hungary (42) as each of the mentioned countries has its own specifics.

In Hungary the main reasons for are that the EU has suspended some of its funds to the country over unacceptable corruption risks as well as the pressure on civil organizations and violations in media independence.

The Balkans in focus: trends in the period 2012 – 2022

The CPI of Greece shows an increasement in score of 36 in 2012 to 52 in 2022. In 2022, The index of Croatia rises to 50 points, which is an indicator of fragile but consistent positive development.

The negative trend is strengthened in Turkey (from score of 49 to 36), Macedonia (from 43 to 40), Bosnia and Herzegovina (from score of 42 to 34) and Serbia (from score of 39 to 36). Serbia is a country that has difficulty dealing with organized crime and as a main reasons for that score are the political dependence of the judicial system and the lack of adequate resources and independence of law enforcement authorities.

About the CPI

The CPI uses a scale from 0 to 100; 100 is very clean and 0 is highly corrupt.

The CPI is calculated using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others

Types of public sector corruption captured in the CPI encompass bribery, diversion of public funds, effective prosecution of corruption cases, adequate legal frameworks, access to information, and legal protections for whistleblowers, journalists and investigators.

Sources for Bulgaria: Economist Intelligence Unit, Global Insight, IMD World, Political Evaluation Risk Consortium, World Economic Forum EOS, Bertelsmann Foundation, Bertelsmann Foundation, Freedom House FH, Varieties of Democracy Project, World Justice Project.

More information about the global Corruption Perception Index will find on Transparency International website.

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