Austria loses points in international corruption ranking
Is Austria more corrupt? The Austrian Republic shares 13th place with Canada, Estonia, Iceland and Ireland. The reasons for the loss of points are anti-corruption projects that have been announced but not implemented and political scandals.
Vienna – Austria has become more corrupt – this is shown by the international corruption index 2021 of Transparency International (TI), which was published on Tuesday 25th January.
Since 2020, Austria has lost two points and now ranks 13th with 74 out of 100 points, together with Canada, Estonia, Iceland and Ireland. In 2020, Austria was still in 15th place with 76 points. Austria explains that the fact that it has not gone further downhill is due to the fact that corruption is also increasingly becoming a problem internationally.
Points are awarded according to whether a government successfully curbs corruption and whether corrupt officials are prosecuted or punished. Bribery and venality, nepotism, theft of public funds, the effective prosecution of corrupt public officials and effective integrity mechanisms in the public sector are all included under corruption.
The Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption 2021, found that the Austrian government had satisfactorily implemented only two of the 19 recommendations from 2017 .
Austria board member Georg Krakow said, “To reach the level required by TI Austria in terms of anti-corruption and transparency measures, the government needs to pull the lever in several places.” He said the delay in implementing the Freedom of Information Act is problematic, the issue of federal prosecutors has only been discussed, and loopholes in the lobbying and interest representation register have been identified, but there is a lack of political will for improvement.
Everyday corruption on the decline
The trend of the Corruption Perceptions Index is thus pointing steadily downward: in 2019, Austria still scored 77 points; in 2021, the worst result since 2014 was 74 points. While the role model function of politics in fighting corruption has been lacking in recent years, “everyday corruption” has declined significantly over the past ten to 20 years, according to TI Austria.
Denmark, New Zealand and Finland are in first place with 88 points. Austria also lags behind in the German-speaking world, with Switzerland in seventh place with 84 points and Germany in tenth place with 80 points. At the bottom of the list are Somalia, Syria and South Sudan.
Overall, many countries worldwide have made “no significant progress” in fighting corruption over the past decade, the report says. About two-thirds of the countries assessed only score below 50, meaning these countries have serious corruption problems.
In addition, human rights and democracy have been under fire since the Covid crisis. The connection is therefore not coincidental: Protecting human rights is an essential element in the fight against corruption.
Austria is “quite good” at corruption
Is Austria more corrupt? In view of the new figures, Austria received a questionable honor from the Clean Hands Initiative!
Tuesday morning , It awarded the Austrian Republic the award “Silver Lubricating Oil” for “special achievements in lubricating the political establishment”. For this purpose on the Ballhausplatz a small victory podium including red carpet was built.
Martin Kreutner, co-initiator of the anti-corruption petition, noted that the current ranking did not even include the latest scandals, such as new incriminating chats, which is why only the “Silver” was awarded this time. These would only be reflected in the coming year. Ursula Bittner, spokeswoman for the Clean Hands Initiative, emphasized that Austria is “quite good” at corruption. The main problem, she said, was that such a ranking was needed at all.
Source – Der Standard