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Corruption report: nepotism and conflicts of interest should be Switzerland’s focus

© Ngampol Thongsai |

The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), published on 31 January 2023, shows that most countries are failing to stop corruption. The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, scoring on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

The global average remains unchanged for over a decade at just 43 out of 100. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, while 26 countries have fallen to their lowest scores yet. Despite concerted efforts and hard-won gains by some, 155 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012, said the report.

Denmark remained at the top with a score of 90, two points higher than in 2021. In second equal place were Finland and New Zealand with 87 points. At the very bottom was Somalia with 12 points, followed by South-Sudan and Syria both with 13 points.

In 2022, Switzerland scored 82 out of a maximum of 100. This ranked it as the 7th least corrupt nation out of the 180 countries covered, the same rank as in 2021. However, a score of 82 is two points lower than Switzerland’s score in 2021 and four points lower than in 2016.

To improve its score, Transparency International, the organisation behind the CPI, recommends Switzerland ban nepotism and better manage of conflicts of interest, in particular with better rules around lobbying. The organisation recommends acting at cantonal and municipal levels where most still have no rules requiring transparency of political funding.

Work is also required in the private sector related to the prosecution of companies, anti money laundering and the protection of whistleblowers, although these issues are not covered by the index.

The report says that corruption and global conflict operate hand in hand. Global peace has been deteriorating for 15 years. Corruption has been both a key cause and result of this, it said.

Corruption undermines governments’ ability to protect people and erodes public trust, provoking more and harder to control security threats. On the other hand, conflict creates opportunities for corruption and subverts governments’ efforts to stop it.

Even countries with high CPI scores play a role in the threats that corruption poses to global security. For decades, they have welcomed dirty money from abroad, allowing kleptocrats to increase their wealth, power and destructive geopolitical ambitions.

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