Transparency International has recorded Ukraine’s progress in the fight against corruption

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 | Transparency International

Despite the fact that Ukraine has risen in the Corruption Perceptions Index, experts note that the main work to combat this evil still remains to be done.

KIEV – Ukraine climbed in the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2020, which is compiled by experts from the international anti-corruption movement Transparency International. Last year, Ukraine scored 33 points and took 117th place among 180 countries. At the end of 2019, Ukraine ranked 126th with thirty points.

«First of all, our scores increased in 2020 thanks to the launch of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court and the relaunch of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. Also, the positive results of Ukraine last year were reflected in the anti-corruption changes introduced during «turbo mode» Verkhovna Rada of the IX convocation, and the work of the previous government», – explains the executive director of Transparency International Ukraine Andriy Borovik.

In his opinion, the current index «did not cover those risks that have emerged especially vividly in recent months and can significantly set back in the field of anti-corruption».

Of particular concern, according to the Ukrainian office of Transparency International, are the delay in judicial reform, constant pressure on anti-corruption institutions, as well as attempts to disrupt and neutralize achievements in the field of public procurement..

«At the same time, the issue of unpunished attacks on activists remains relevant for our country, this problem has moved from the regional level to the national one.», – highlighted on January 28 on the website of Transparency International Ukraine.

By the beginning of 2020, the employees of the organization provided Ukraine with five recommendations to reduce the level of corruption, but none of them was fully implemented: two were partially implemented, and three were not implemented at all..

In the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), just like Ukraine, 33 points over the past year, were scored by Egypt, Eswatini (Swaziland), Nepal, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Russia scored 30 points out of a hundred possible and took 129th place out of 180. Azerbaijan, Gabon, Malawi and Mali scored the same number.

Denmark and New Zealand are leading in the index with 88 points each. The United States is the lowest CPI since 2012 with 67 points. The reasons include not only alleged conflicts of interest and malpractice at the highest level, but also weak oversight over the use of the unprecedented $ 1 trillion COVID-19 aid package, Transparency International Russia said..

Syria, Somalia and South Sudan occupy the last lines with the results of 14, 12 and 12 points respectively.

Corruption in the post-Soviet space

The report on the countries of the post-Soviet space notes that Armenia made the biggest breakthrough in a year – from 42 points to 49 (while in the index for 2018 she scored 35 points). Kazakhstan significantly improved its performance – from 34 to 38 points. Belarus (47 points) and Moldova (34 points) scored two points more than last time. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan scored one point more (31 and 26 points, respectively). The indicators of Georgia (56 points), Azerbaijan (30 points), Tajikistan (25 points) and Turkmenistan (19 points) remained unchanged..

COVID-19 crisis

At the end of 2020, the website of the international anti-corruption movement Transparency International emphasizes that «Corruption Perceptions Index paints a grim picture of the level of corruption around the world».

«In almost a decade, most countries have not done well in the fight against corruption or have made minimal progress, with more than two-thirds of them scoring less than 50 points. Our research shows that corruption not only threatens the global fight against COVID-19, but also contributes to the ongoing crisis of democracy.», – stated on the website of Transparency International.

It’s not all bad, but reforms are needed

International Political Scientist Anton Kuchukhidze believes that today we can talk about progress in the prevention of corruption in certain sectors of government.

«No one, for example, today can convict Volodymyr Zelenskyy of putting pressure on the security forces. This thesis does not work today. There has been a transformation, but of course the problems still remain», – says Anton Kuchukhidze to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

The shadow economy, according to Anton Kuchukhidze, is one of the main applied factors that do not allow to effectively fight corruption..

Transparency International has recorded Ukraine's progress in the fight against corruption

«The processes of shading the economy have been launched, the gambling business is being legalized in the country, and a land market is being created. But today it takes time to restart the entire anti-corruption architecture, not just at the political level, but in the courts, at customs, in the tax», – notes Anton Kuchukhidze.

He believes that, despite high-profile cases and public attention to individual processes, legislation allows corrupt officials to evade responsibility..

«Look at the President’s conflict with the Constitutional Court – this is pure use by judges of their position. If the law says that all civil servants and their property are monitored and this advises anti-corruption legislation, then why should the judges of the Constitutional Court have different conditions??» – emphasizes Anton Kuchukhidze.

Anti-corruption factors

People’s Deputy of Ukraine, First Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy Yaroslav Yurchishin names several factors that are necessary to fight corruption.

«Effectively working anti-corruption bodies. Now there is a competition for the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. It is important that its leader is politically neutral, professional, not afraid to take on serious corruption cases. Personal kinship – exemption of the judiciary from judges for whom there is evidence of their corrupt activities. Personal example – a person who is accused of corruption cannot work in the office of the president, cannot take on leadership positions those who came to the president’s team to sell positions», – says Yaroslav Yurchishin to the correspondent of the Russian Service «Voices of America».

He notes that the government is a very weak owner of state-owned enterprises. – and they also need to be privatized.

«Of course, the conversation is not about the defense industry or energy. – areas guaranteeing national security», – emphasizes Yaroslav Yurchishin.

Access to justice, according to the MP, is another factor that contributes to the fight against corruption.

«This moment will guarantee the right to private property in Ukraine, there will be more investments, the state and business will have transparent relations, and people will have confidence in the authorities and the judiciary.», – emphasizes Yaroslav Yurchishin.

Transparency International has recorded Ukraine's progress in the fight against corruption