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From conflicts of interest in awarding government contracts to undue influence by business on politics, from bribes to the use of personal connections when accessing public services, corruption takes many forms across the European Union (EU).
Despite the region’s clean image, our latest Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – EU shows people are all too aware of corruption across the bloc: 62 per cent of over 40,000 survey participants believe that government corruption is a big problem in their country.
Global Corruption Barometer – European Union 2021
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3 IN 10 PEOPLE PAY A BRIBE OR USE A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO ACCESS PUBLIC SERVICES
THIS IS EQUIVALENT TO MORE THAN 106 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE REGION
As one of the largest surveys on corruption in the EU, the GCB highlights the widespread perception that corruption is getting worse, business has overly close ties with government, and officials are rarely punished for corruption.
The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening matters. In some countries, politicians use the crisis as an excuse to undermine democracy, while others see it as a chance to make a profit.
Despite a widespread belief that governments are tackling corrupt behaviour poorly, and many fearing reprisals for speaking up against it, almost two thirds of EU residents believe that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption. This offers a powerful foundation for politicians, businesses and civil society to drive reforms that build integrity.
64% THINK ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
With over 40,000 participants in 27 countries across the European Union, this Global Corruption Barometer – EU presents one of the largest, most detailed sets of public opinion data on people’s views and experiences of corruption and bribery in the region.