Migration and Home Affairs

Eurobarometer: Country factsheets on attitudes to corruption

Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

The European Commission is today publishing country-specific factsheets to supplement the latest Eurobarometer surveys looking at public attitudes to corruption and businesses' attitudes to corruption, published in December 2017. The factsheets contain breakdowns of key results by Member State, comparing these with results from previous surveys, as well as with the EU average.

To recall, the Eurobarometer 457 on businesses’ attitudes towards corruption in the EU shows the degree to which businesses feel that they are affected by corruption and their experiences with public administration where corruption could affect them, whilst Special Eurobarometer 470 assesses EU citizens' perceptions and attitudes towards corruption. Some key highlights:

Corruption is perceived by Europeans as a major problem and an obstacle for doing business; however, the recent Eurobarometer surveys show a somewhat improving situation and a growing optimism among both citizens and business representatives.

  • Both citizens (68%) and businesses (67%) now consider corruption less widespread than in 2013. Companies in 18 EU MS and citizens from 20 MS are now less likely to say that corruption is widespread than they were in 2013.
  • Less companies now cite corruption as a problem for doing business, but there are large cross-country differences. Corruption remains a problem for 37% of companies, with small businesses seemingly more affected than large ones (38% vs. 15%). This is also reflected in citizens' perceptions, where lower levels of income and education come with a higher perception of being personally affected by corruption. (end of education 15- (31)% vs. (21%) for 20+)
  • Less citizens than in 2013 say that they have personally witnessed or experienced corruption (5%). They are now also more likely to report corruption practices than they were in 2013, but a relative majority (49%) say they don't know where to report such cases. While in all countries only a small minority has been exposed to corruption, this varies from only 1% of those polled in Finland to 16% of respondents in Croatia. Similarly, awareness of where to report corruption varies significantly across Europe; with only (24%) in Hungary and (28%) Bulgaria knowing, and on the other hand, a large majority in Greece (64%)  and Finland (59%) know where to report corruption.
  • Citizens seem more optimistic as to how corruption is being tackled in their country than in 2013, but companies show the opposite trend. 30% of citizens believe that their governments' efforts to tackle corruption are sufficient (up from 2013 by 7pp), but 56% (-7pp) disagree that there are enough successful prosecutions to deter corruption in their country. Amongst Member states, in 10 countries less than a fifth of companies agree that people or businesses caught for bribing a senior official are appropriately punished, with these proportions particularly low in Croatia (5%) and Slovakia (9%).
  • Only a quarter of companies believe there is enough transparency of political party funding, and a large majority of companies (61%) still think that people and businesses caught bribing a senior official are not appropriately punished. In 19 Member States, the proportion of companies agreeing that there is sufficient transparency and supervision of the funding of political parties is less than the EU28 average of 25%. Hungary (8%), Slovakia (10%) and Spain (10%) have particularly low rates of agreement with this statement.

These surveys follow a well-established practice: the business survey on corruption is the third one published since 2013, whereas the Special Eurobarometer survey on corruption was conducted for the 5th time since 2007.

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