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Corruption from the bloc

The week in corruption, 18 June 2021

Four European Union flags stand in front of flags of other EU countries in the EU council building in Brussels.

Image: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

Transparency Int'l

This week, we released the European Union (EU) edition of our Global Corruption Barometer, where 40,000 people across the bloc told us about their views and experiences of corruption. This makes it one of the largest, most detailed public opinion surveys on corruption in the region.

The results are clear: The EU may be seen as a bastion of integrity, but all 27 countries have their fair share of corruption problems.

Despite the region’s clean image, our latest Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – EU shows people are all too aware of corruption across the bloc.

See the results

Three in ten people told us that they paid a bribe or used personal connections to access public services at least once in the previous year.

Bribery and the use of personal connections have been especially prevalent in health care. This is a frightening discovery in these times of COVID-19, when unfair access to health services and medical attention is more likely than ever to cost lives.

As it turns out, EU residents are also very perceptive about the cosy relationship between business and politics. Over half of people in the EU think their government is run by a few private interests.

Now, the good news: like 64 per cent of EU residents, we continue to believe that citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption. And we come with a plan.

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