Sweden's safeguards against corruption need to be strengthened in several areas. Politicians, the business sector and civil society must make corruption issues a higher priority, says a major new study published by Transparency International Sweden.
On February 8 Transparency International Sweden launches the study, Resilience, Independence and integrity - Can Swedish society resist corruption?
The first of its kind, the study evaluates Sweden's institutional safeguards against corruption. Eight researchers have examined twelve institutions, including Sweden's political parties, media, civil society, courts and parliament.
The study is part of a European project supported by the European Commission. The aim of the project is to highlight corruption issues and place the fight against corruption high on the agenda of decision-makers in 25 European countries.
Sweden is considered to have good foundations to counter corruption. However, the study also shows that there are significant risks of corruption in Sweden; these have changed and in some cases increased. The authors of the report also identify several areas where safeguards against corruption can, and must, improve.
The study highlights weaknesses in transparency in the public sector. The principle of public access to information is a strong safeguard against corruption, but in many cases, its implementation falls short.
Sweden's political parties are not legally required to disclose their donors and means of financing. The lack of legislation in this area has resulted in a significant reduction in scoring in terms of openness and transparency.
Fighting corruption is not just about the media or whistleblowers revealing cases of corruption in Sweden. Preventive work and awareness-raising are equally important.
These results demonstrate that the work against corruption must always continue, even in a country that is relatively spared from corruption, says the study's research leader Associate Professor Staffan Andersson.
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