Transparency International has recently published the Corruption Perceptions Index rankings for 2015. Roughly speaking, the index measures how corrupt the public sector of each country is (corruption in private companies does not influence the results).
The name of the index may make it seem rather inaccurate (it is based on “perception”, after all, not on the actual amount of corruption), but the problem with corruption is that most of it has never been publicly uncovered. That’s why Transparency International collects studies from various institutions analysing corruption in individual countries based on opinions of businessmen and country experts, not on the number of corruption scandals.
Public sectors with the lowest scores are perceived to be the most corrupt by those who actually have to deal with them, while countries with the highest scores are perceived the be the cleanest… But, let’s stop talking and take a look at the results (for comparison, the index of the United States is 76):
There is still a noticeable divide between Western and Eastern Europe. Perhaps one of the most surprising results is that of Italy (or maybe it is not that surprising, if we recall what Berlusconi was like), which has the second lowest score of the whole European Union after Bulgaria.
The “Balto-Slavic” part of the EU has been improving steadily, with the Czech Republic recording the greatest improvement of all countries from the previous year. However, there is a worrying tendency in Hungary, whose score has declined over the past four years.