GLOBAL CORRUPTION BAROMETER
The political parties and Parliament continue to hold the top positions among the most corrupt institutions
According to the Global Corruption Barometer released today by Transparency International, Romanians continue to perceive that the measures taken to fight corruption are ineffective. Moreover, the situation corresponds with the ascendant trend recorded by Romania in recent years: in 2009, 59% of the population consider that the anticorruption measures taken by authorities are inefficient, 8 percentage points more than the results of last years’ Barometer. The even more intense opinion regarding the deficiency of the measures taken is, unfortunately, the obvious consequence of the clear lack of results generated by the reform implemented in the fight against corruption. Along with the Corruption Perceptions Index that places Romania on the second last position, followed only by Bulgaria, the Barometer underlines the serious issues that Romania faces in dealing with corruption.
The political parties and Parliament continue to hold the top positions among the institutions affected the by the corruption phenomenon, both scoring 4.3 points, closely followed by the justice system on the third place, at a mere 0.1 difference. The grading scale used was from 1 to 5, 1 meaning not at all corrupt, while 5 means extremely corrupt institutions. Contrasting to the previous Barometer, this years’ rating also shows an increase in absolute value – growth of half a point for both political parties and Parliament, as well as in the case of the judiciary, can be observed.
The business sector does not record a better position, holding the forth place in the final standings with 3.8 points, being followed by the media which recorded the biggest increment (of 0.6 points), reaching a 3.4 score this year. The intensification of the public’s negative perception of the corruption occurrence is a consequence of the lack of practical and sustainable results in the fight against corruption, a symptom of the constant ineffectiveness of the specialised bodies, which can no longer be concealed by the abundant publicity of the cases being investigated. Simultaneously, the Romanian legal system is currently restrained by excessive self regulating actions, coupled with the absence of accountability mechanisms.
Furthermore, the Barometer reveals that Romanians paid a bribe specifically for medical services, approximately 22% of the respondents acknowledging bribe payment in the healthcare system in the past 12 months. In the same time, 13% of the respondents stated that they bribed police authorities, while 6% confessed to having paid bribed in legal cases.
Taking into account the overall extremely low results recorded by the Barometer, Transparency International Romania draws attention once again to the necessity of transposing of the anticorruption reforms from a purely formal framework into concrete, tangible and sustainable results. In this respect, it is mandatory that the implementation of anticorruption reforms is based on a real and strong political will, leading to efficient mechanisms to combat and prevent corruption foregoing its concrete manifestation, as well as effective sanctioning mechanisms, when corruption crimes are committed, including convictions that would deter this phenomenon.
Transparency International Romania considers that it is imperative to concretely, constantly and coherently apply the existing legal framework for the prevention, combating and sanctioning of corruption is imperative, just as much as to completely avoid using the fight against corruption as a political weapon.