Czech Republic Remains Below the EU Average In Corruption Index, Despite Slight Improvements

The Czech Republic has been ranked 41st out of 180 countries in the 2022 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by Transparency International (TI). The country scored 56 out of 100 points, two more than last year. After ranking 19th in the 27-member European Union for three years, the Czech Republic is now 16th, together with Italy and Slovenia. In the EU, Bulgaria and Hungary have the lowest CPI ratings with 43 and 42 points respectively.

The main problem in the Czech Republic is the lack of a strategy to limit corruption in the country, particularly from political representatives from all parties, according to TI. The organization also noted that there was no determination to adopt ambitious and systemic changes to tackle the issue.

The Czech TI branch director, Ondrej Kopecny, criticized the government of Petr Fiala for failing to take significant steps to combat corruption. He pointed out the lack of amendments to the deficient law on conflicts of interest, weak plans to regulate lobbying, and a weak proposal for the protection of whistleblowers. He also expressed disappointment with the government’s attitude towards corruption, pointing out the excuses, downplaying of information, and appointment of suspected politicians to advisory posts.

Petr Leyer, a board member of the Czech TI branch, emphasized the need to see the CPI in a long-term perspective, pointing out that the Czech Republic has been stagnant for the past 15 years and not significantly improving.

The Justice Ministry and the government made progress in pushing anti-corruption proposals last year, according to the ministry’s spokesman Vladimir Repka. However, the proposed bills on lobbying, protection of whistleblowers, and public prosecutor’s offices were criticized by both TI and the Pirate Party. The bill on public prosecutors was particularly criticized for not including clear rules for dismissing the prosecutor general, despite a promise to do so in the government’s policy statement.

Article by Prague Forum

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