According to Transparency International (TI), Hungary became slightly more corrupt last year than in 2020.
The NGO generates corruption scores for every country in the world through 13 different surveys and assessments, and releases the annual findings in its Corruption Perceptions Index report. States are scored on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 indicating the least level of corruption in a country and 0 the highest.
Transparency claims that its corruption index “is the most widely-used global corruption ranking in the world. It measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be, according to experts and businesspeople.”
Hungary scored 43 on the index for 2021, which is one point lower than the previous year’s number. Within the European Union, Bulgaria barely edged out Hungary with 42 points to claim the title of the most corrupt Member State in the EU, with Hungary in second place, as ranked by the anti-corruption organization. TI puts Hungary in 73rd place out of a total 180 countries surveyed, with Bulgaria in 78th place.
Transparency has been releasing its Corruption Perceptions Index results since 1995, and the latest report shows the lowest score they have ever given Hungary. But it wasn’t an historic year only for Hungary, as Switzerland (84), the Netherlands (82), Belgium (73), Slovenia (57), Poland (56), and Cyprus (53) also received their worst corruption scores since the group began tracking them.
Together with Luxembourg, Poland, and Cyprus, Hungary was also highlighted in the summary as a European country where the corruption situation has significantly deteriorated since 2012. TI states that the Hungarian government has used the epidemic to justify further consolidating its power and restricting freedoms, particularly media freedom and the freedom of expression.
By comparison, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, and Greece have made progress over the last ten years, although the last three years have seen a decline in Austria’s performance. Their research shows that the most corrupt country in the world is South Sudan with 11 points.
The world’s least corrupt countries are Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand with 88 points each, and Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany rounding up the top ten.