Europe in the networks of corruption

Transparency International measure the level of corruption in 25 European countries. Although, according to experts, there is corruption in all countries, really bribery has reached serious proportions in the Mediterranean: Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal are enmeshed in corruption bonds. Director of the Russian branch of Transparency International Elena Panfilova says that Europe's problems are familiar and Russia.

Transparency International on Wednesday presented a report on the level of corruption in Europe. Experts came to a disappointing conclusion: there is a problem in all European countries.

In preparing the report took into account the practical application of that legislation laws, and 12 factors, including the possibility of corruption schemes in the legislative, executive, and judiciary, law enforcement, public officials, etc.

According to official data of the Council of Europe, the corruption charges in the European Union in the order of € 120 billion a year. Analysts believe that the real figure could be much higher, but recall that the level of corruption is extremely difficult to measure. According to the latest research "Eurobarometer", 74% of EU citizens say the increase in corruption.

In several European countries, the report documented "a deep-seated problems of economic inefficiency, all kinds of abuse and bribery cases." First of all, it is about the Mediterranean region: a truly alarming level of corruption has reached in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The problems in these countries may prevent them from continuing to leave for two and a half years of the debt crisis. The high level of corruption in the budget deficit and public debt is inefficient spending and delays the process of recovery, experts say.

"Countries with weak anti-corruption policies are now more than others suffer from problems with public debt — says research director at Transparency International Finn Heinrich, who was quoted by Reuters. — Auditing structures in them are particularly weak and often dependent on the state, so that officials can have an idea of how to turn corners. "

The report finds serious problems in the area of public administration: the officials in the most troubled countries in the European Union, for example, can avoid responsibility for their actions. Civil servants and businessmen use their influence in order to win tenders and influence public policy; parliaments in this case are not in any way able to strengthen existing anti-corruption laws.

"The links between corruption and the ongoing financial crisis in these countries can no longer be ignored," — concludes the report.

In addition to the Mediterranean countries traditionally considered problematic, the report Transparency International were prosperous Sweden and Switzerland. Experts point to the lack of mandatory regulations controlling the supply of private donations to political parties. However, political parties, along with state agencies and the private sector are recognized by the authors of the report are the most vulnerable to corruption schemes across Europe. In addition, experts believe distressed state structures designed to counter corruption: in several Western European countries, none at all, while in the Netherlands they, on the contrary, those would be better if they were not there at all. The report called the Dutch methods of combating corruption schemes "totally inadequate".

Transparency International criticism of experts called the country where widespread lobbying and there is no legislation regulating interest groups. Only 6 of the 25 countries mentioned in the study, there are such rules: it is France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

In all other countries, lobbyists have a real chance to seriously affect government decision-making. Taxes in this case will be spent to serve the interests of narrow groups, not all citizens.

The high risks of corruption observed in states where it is still not established the responsibility for trying to push through parliament laws that promise them personal benefit. Conflict of interest in legislative activity due to the lack of quality control of the parliament is possible in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Problems mentioned in the report of the European countries are quite applicable to Russia, the director of the Russian branch of Transparency International Elena Panfilova. Some EU countries have begun to develop a system of transparency along with Russia and are experiencing similar difficulties, including lack of readiness of society and government to fulfill the new anti-corruption laws.

"In many countries, the stumbling block is the legislation on lobbying, the laws of the whistle blow protection — protection of the applicants on corruption. But there is a major difference. Virtually none of these countries anti-corruption reforms and the adoption of new legislation did not go as we have, on paper, "- said Panfilov. According to her, in contrast to Russia, after the adoption of anti-corruption legislation in the European countries most problems arose due to "not very skilled performance."

"Why is this happening — pretty obvious. Of the 25 countries represented almost anywhere, let's say, a decorative democracy. Everywhere there is a system of checks and balances, and everywhere there is a free media, which are pushing for implementation of anti-corruption reforms. If you dig on the surface, it seems that the similarity

(With Russia) is there, but the fundamental difference is enormous, "- said the expert.

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