(10 December 2014) – Transparency International, the anti-corruption organisation, published its latest report. More than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Denmark comes out on top.
The countries of the European Union have higher index scores than countries further east, but corruption scandals are not limited to Ukraine and Turkey. This year has been marked by numerous scandals in the heart of “old Europe”: in France, Italy and Spain, they included a former president, a current regional president and members of the royal family, not to mention dozens of politicians and influential business people. EU citizens also protested against corruption this year in Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
While top performer Denmark has strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, it also set an example this November, announcing plans to create a public register including beneficial ownership information for all companies incorporated in Denmark. This measure, similar to those announced by Ukraine and the UK, will make it harder for the corrupt to hide behind companies registered in another person’s name.
The anti-corruption group is currently running a campaign to Unmask the Corrupt, urging European Union, United States and G20 countries to follow Denmark’s lead and create public registers that would make clear who really controls, or is the beneficial owner, of every company.