Corruption in five Eastern European countries remains endemic

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



A lack of progress fighting corruption in five Eastern European countries is hampering democratic progress and undermining the prospect of greater economic and political cooperation with the European Union, warns Transparency International.

The new report, “The State of Corruption: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine”, assesses more than 60 institutions responsible for preventing and fighting corruption, and finds the judiciary, legislature and civil society to be especially weak due to political interference and a lack of independent oversight.

While all five countries have adopted anti-corruption laws, political and business elites exert influence over important watchdog institutions, such as the judiciary and legislature, allowing their power to go unchecked and limiting the effectiveness of law enforcement. Politically motivated prosecutions and government interference to circumvent judicial processes are especially problematic in Ukraine and Moldova – where several judges have been convicted of receiving bribes.

Over the next five years, the EU's neighbouring partner countries are set to receive at least €15 billion in assistance from the EU. The risk of this money going into corrupt pockets rather than helping people live better lives is unacceptably high.

“The system of checks and balances against corruption across these countries lacks oversight or accountability. Corrupt individuals – be they politicians or businesspersons – are often able to get away without worry of prosecution,” says Anne Koch, Director of Europe and Central Asia Department, Transparency International.

The region has also seen a growing trend of restrictions on non-state watchdogs – media and civil society – with intimidation, harassment, persecution and detainment of civic activists and journalists in Armenia and, in particular, in Azerbaijan of major concern.

EU cooperation with the five Eastern neighbours hangs in the balance

After over 10 years of engagement between the EU and its eastern neighbours, the Eastern Partnership is at a turning point, with concrete proposals for reform to be announced in autumn 2015.

The onus to tackle corruption is not only on the partner countries – it is a mutual responsibility, and the EU must also step up its efforts to ensure partner countries uphold their commitment to fight corruption.

Without specific anti-corruption commitments and priorities defined by the EU, and without support and dialogue with civil society as a key partner in the region, the cooperation between the EU and the partner countries to fight corruption could be at risk.

Transparency International calls Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to:

Transparency International calls on the EU to:

 

The contents of this publication – produced under the framework of the EU-funded project "National Integrity System Assessment in the European Neighbourhood East region – are the sole responsibility of Transparency International and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. The apportioned grant by EU for this project is in the amount of 680,517.92 EUR (90% of the total budget).

The report can be found at: www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/the_state_of_corruption_armenia_azerbaijan_georgia_moldova_and_ukraine

 

European Union flag

This project is funded by the European Union.


For any press enquiries please contact

Chris Sanders
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

This week, the Open Government Partnership is holding its 5th global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia. Transparency International is there in force, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Increasing accountability and safeguarding billions in climate finance

In December 2015, governments from around the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, agreeing to tackle climate change and keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. They committed to spend US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect themselves against the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

After Gürtel, what next for Spain’s struggle with political corruption?

At the start of June, the Spanish parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Rajoy after his political party was embroiled in the biggest corruption scandal in Spain’s democratic history. At this critical juncture in Spain’s struggle with political corruption, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity and support anti-corruption efforts in public life.

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media