Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index places Estonia 32nd of 174 countries, a slight drop from last year. Estonia’s score was affected most by a risk of political corruption.
The annual index measures the perceived degree of corruption in 174 countries and territories, ranking them from least corrupt to most corrupt. Estonia fell three places from 29th last year and even further from the 26th place achieved in 2010.
Transparency International Estonia’s executive director Asso Prii said the drop could be due to a change in methods.
Corruption perception was measured using a method where a country achieving 100 points is corruption-free while a state with 0 points is completely corrupt. Estonia received 64 points.
“In any case, we have to say that nothing has changed for the better," he told ERR radio news.
Prii added that two indicators in particular regarded Estonia negatively, of which the first assessed political corruption from the viewpoint of foreign investors and the second the abusing of public resources.
“In our organization's opinion, nothing has changed for the better. Laws have not been made stricter, in practice things have even worsened,” said Prii.
Estonia’s 32nd place ranking puts it well above Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, which were rated 54th, 48th and 133rd respectively. By comparison, Germany came 13th, the US 19th and Sweden 4th. Denrnark, Finland and New Zealand tied for first place with 90 points and Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia brought up the rear with 8 points each.