Estonia manages to control corruption better than any other emerging country in Europe, according to new research from the World Bank.
The Worldwide Governance Indicator (WGI), the World Bank’s body which reports aggregate and individual governance indicators, reports that Estonia has a score of 89.9 percentage points.
It ranks ahead of Slovenia, which is second with 80.77, and Georgia, which ranks third with 76.44.
Poland and the Czech Republic round out the top five countries with scores of 74.52 and 69.23, according to the report.
The worst rankings fell to Azerbaijan and Ukraine, with scores of 21.63 and 18.27 respectively.
Estonia also ranks highly on the world stage.
According to the 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Estonia is one of the least corrupt countries in the world, having been ranked 18th among 180 countries, higher than France, Ireland and Portugal.
The results shows Estonia reached a score of 73, which is slightly better than the 2017 result when it reached 71, and in 2016 when it was 70.
“Most of Estonia’s public institutions are characterized by high levels of integrity and transparency. Facilitation payments are prohibited under Estonian law, and the same applies to gifts and hospitality in return for services,’’ Business Anti-Corruption Portal said.
According to the organization, the people of Estonia also have a lot of confidence in the police, thanks to a state system which has found a way to cope with police corruption and to adequately punish those who accepted bribes.
“The government of Estonia has established effective mechanisms to detect and punish abuse of office and corruption within the police force.’’
The closest to the perfect score was Denmark with 88, followed by New Zealand with 87 and Finland with 85. Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland also scored 85.
But Transparency says it’s concerned about the dwindling number of countries improving their anti-corruption scores.
“In the last seven years, only 20 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Estonia, Senegal, Guyana and Côte D’Ivoire,” Transparency International said.
“Equally troubling, 16 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Australia, Chile, Malta, Hungary and Turkey.”
“Throughout the world, political leaders who run on a populist platform are gaining power and undermining democracy. High corruption rates can contribute to increased support for populist candidates,” body concluded.