28th of January 2021



Corruption Perception Index 2020 in the context of COVID-19

Romania fails to increase its scores and remains on the last positions in the CPI 2020, alongside Bulgaria and Hungary

TI-Romania’ recommendations: BICA Reform Agenda, transparency and accountability


Persistent corruption weakens the health system and contributes to the regression of democracy, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights Transparency International as they launch the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2020 - report released today.

The TI report shows that there is a direct link between the position a country registered in the CPI and how it manages to cope with the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic: Countries that perform well on the index invest more in health care, are better able to provide universal health coverage and are less likely to violate institutional and democratic norms or the rule of law.

The Corruption Perceptions Index reflects corruption in 180 states and territories as perceived by independent and business experts. The ranking is made by awarding points, from 0 to 100, where 0 means "highly corrupt" and 100 "very clean".

Romania – ranking last in the EU together with Bulgaria and Hungary

With a score of 44 points out of 100, Romania remains in the top three most corrupt countries in the European Union. Although the scores are similar to those of 2019 for most Member States, for the first time, three countries share the last position in the EU ranking - Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary - with the same score: 44 points out of 100 possible.

The perception of corruption in the public system and the business environment in Romania remains unchanged compared to 2019, as well as in Hungary, while Bulgaria gains one point compared to the previous year. In fact, our country has the same score as in 2012, which shows that the measures taken in almost 10 years have not been constant and have failed to change the perception that independent experts and the business environment have about corruption in Romania.

Lack of transparency in public procurement, underfunding of the medical system, lack of consistent measures to digitalize administrative processes are constant problems in Romania and have intensified in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court of Accounts’ report on procurement conducted with a view to combating the pandemic showed serious shortcomings in both local and central government.

Corrupt practices in companies, which declaratively assume integrity policies, have affected the credibility of the business environment, while image promoting campaigns have resulted in the reduction of public vigilance.

Romanian society has significantly lost its determination to sanction corruption and lack of integrity as a general problem, and has manifested itself rather sequentially.


BICA reform agenda, transparency and accountability

Transparency International Romania proposes solutions that can be applied in the medium and the long term:

  • Promoting Integrity Pacts in public procurement, as independent mechanisms for real-time monitoring of major public projects and more.

  • Digitalization of administrative processes, by establishing the National Compliance Register, which will enable the enhancement of administrative transparency and accountability, thus contributing to reducing vulnerabilities to corruption in public administration.

  • Transposition of the EU Whistleblower Directive into the national law at high compliance standards.

  • Providing support to institutions that have anti-corruption role, in order to increase their operational capacity and effectiveness, including by preserving and improving the regulatory framework.

  • Providing resources, in conditions of independence, for actors in the non-governmental sector and active involvement in monitoring of the activity in the public sector, as well as the operations of major economic, national and international actors.

  • Systematic development of a culture of acceptance towards constructive criticism and feedback.

  • Initiation of ranking and rating mechanisms in different sectors to support the exit from the 40-point blockage in which Romania has been for over 10 years in the CPI.

Last year, TI-Romania launched a research report on integrity in the Romanian business environment, a report that includes a series of recommendations, elaborated on the basis of specific consultations with representatives from the business environment, central public institutions and NGOs. In 2021 we continue the series of debates and invite representatives of all the three sectors to join us in order to establish a reform agenda with concrete solutions applicable in the medium and the long term.

Transparency International Romania reiterates that there is a need for a constant involvement of all representatives of society, from the political class, public institutions to the private sector and citizens, each with his role and responsibility, in the fight against corruption.

Transparency International Romania once again expresses its openness to enter a constructive dialogue with the central authorities in order to identify those sustainable and impactful solutions that the Romanian society needs.

Data and statistics on the Corruption Perception Index 2020 at global and national level, as well as comparative data from previous years are available on the website: www.transparency.org.ro

More information about the BICA project is available here:



In the over 20 years of activity, Transparency International Romania has contributed to the establishment / consolidation of public institutions such as ANI, DGA, DNA; has developed over 40 public policies, including one on the protection of whistleblowers. At the same time, it developed and implemented standards of ethics and integrity for the public sector and the business environment. We are consistent with the principles that guide us in our activity: integrity, impartiality, accountability, professionalism.

For additional information, please contact: Georgeta Filip, Transparency International Romania public relations specialist, e-mail: georgeta.filip@transparency.org.ro


Data publicare: 28/01/2021