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Disappointing corruption report: Hungary is inferior to Romania and Bulgaria

Disappointing corruption report: Hungary is inferior to Romania and Bulgaria
In its assessment of Hungary, Transparency International highlights that there is more and more evidence of misuse of state and EU funds against the political elite. The organization states that, in the wake of the recent agreement with the European Union, institutional reforms that strengthen the independence of the judiciary and combat corruption are among the conditions for the country’s access to the European Recovery Fund of 5.8 billion euros. Part of the EU’s cohesion funds – €6.3 billion – has been suspended due to unacceptable corruption risks and ineffective prosecution procedures.

The success of this promising belated conditional mechanism now depends on whether the EU is willing to force Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government to introduce fundamental reforms in order to restore the rule of law, Transparency International reports.

Significant shortcomings in the new rules on conflicts of interest and asset declarations, the report says, make it uncertain how effective they will be in a country where checks and balances have been so thoroughly dismantled, and somewhat uncertain that the corruption situation will improve. The measures proposed by the government are not able to fully achieve their goals – including improving the transparency of public procurement – as key authorities remain unaffected by the reform, they wrote, adding that this casts doubt on the government’s intention to allow independent oversight of public expenditures.

The missed opportunity to consult with civil society and outside experts undermined confidence in the government’s commitment to rooting out systemic corruption. Transparency International believes that political influence over the authorities prevails. According to the organization, the successful operation of the newly created Integrity Commission cannot be guaranteed either, because the organization will not be independent.

In 2022, the Scandinavian countries top the TI ranking again, but just like last year, this year too, it confirms that development has stalled at the top of the ranking. The worst performing EU member states are Romania (46 points), Bulgaria (43) and Hungary (42). The last two countries changed places compared to last year, after the Bulgarian score improved by one, and the Hungarian score deteriorated by the same amount.

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Source: Transparency International

The Hungarian score by TI is included among the countries that deteriorated the most, since 2015 our index has fallen by 9 points. From the region, Poland is also on the blacklist. It is true that the Polish index (55 points) is still much higher than the Hungarian one (42nd), so its ranking among the 180 countries examined is also higher (55th against 77th).

Source: Transparency International

In the region, the Czech Republic follows a completely different path, which – although its development is marked by many stagnation – has been able to show significant progress over the course of 10 years. Greece and Ireland are following a similar, controversial, but generally positive trajectory, but from our broader region, Latvia and Estonia are also among those that have improved significantly.

The position of countries in the last report It can be browsed hereHere is the static map:

Cover photo: Transparency International

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