As part of the Dutch EU Presidency ranking, Finland is found to be in the lead, Germany in midfield, and Bulgaria last.
Public integrity varies greatly across European Union Member States, according to a new ranking released by the Dutch EU Presidency on Thursday. Drawing on six transparent indicators the ranking represents the first objective measurement of public integrity. In contrast other indices are based on perception, such as Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. The new Index of Public Integrity (IPI) finds that Finland scores best and Bulgaria worst, while Germany ranks 11th out of 28 Member States (see table below). The IPI is part of a report on trust and integrity, commissioned to the ANTICORRP project lead by Hertie School Professor ProfileAlina Mungiu-Pippidi.
As the IPI’s indicators are objective, they allow comparison across time: In both 2012 and 2014 the index recorded great public integrity gains for Greece and Latvia, while it dropped most notably in Slovenia during this period. On average, the EU’s score increased slightly with 18 Member States noticing improvements (see figure below).
The Index of Public Integrity’s six indicators are administrative simplicity (time to register a business and pay tax), trade openness, auditing capacity, judicial capacity, e-services offered by government and e-services used by the population. As a result, the IPI is sensitive to policy reforms, unlike other perception based indices that are notoriously lagging behind reality. For instance, Greece was only ranked as very corrupt after the Euro crisis became public, despite corruption serving as one of the crisis’ primary causes.
In addition to the IPI, the report on trust and integrity commissioned by the Dutch EU Presidency also investigates the general trust of Europeans in their governments. Report findings assert that citizens in many member states perceive a serious drop in the quality of governance, as well as the failure of current policies to redress it. Less than a quarter of Europeans agree that their government’s efforts in tackling corruption are effective. The countries where citizens perceive higher integrity and better governance are those that managed to preserve high levels of trust in government despite the economic crisis.