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CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2020: LATVIA’S SCORE SLIGHTLY IMPROVES

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020: Latvia’s score slightly improves, but bolder reforms are needed to crack down on political corruption

TI Latvia’s analysis, full text ->

Transparency International has published the results of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020. Latvia’s score has increased by 1, from 56 to 57, and ranks 42nd the world (together with Cyprus and Costa Rica) and compared to 2019. While this might be seen as a positive step, the score is still too low and indicates that Latvia is lagging behind compared to other EU and OECD countries.

The results for 2020 show that, with a score of 57, Latvia ranks 42nd in the world, together with Cyprus and Costa Rica. Though the score has increased by one compared to the CPI 2019, Latvia is still lagging behind compared to other countries in the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In the EU27, where the average CPI 2020 score is 64, Latvia ranks 15th out of 27 countries. Among OECD member states (average CPI score 66) Latvia ranks 28th out of 37 countries.

This is part of a larger (and worrying) pattern of stagnation in corruption perceptions over recent years. Since 2014, Latvia’s score has increased just by 1. While the trend is similar in Lithuania (CPI 2020 score: 60), the performance of both countries is in stark contrast with that of Estonia, whose CPI score has slowly but constantly increased to 75 points in 2020 and is now well over the EU average and almost 20 points higher than Latvia.

An analysis by TI Latvia, which takes a closer look at the sources which determine the CPI results (expert risk assessments, surveys of businesspeople, indices on democracy), shows that Latvia’s performance is not satisfactory when it comes to risks of corruption in the political system, investigation and prosecution of complex crimes and perceptions of corruption in business operations.

“TI Latvia welcomes the government’s recent efforts to crack down on money laundering, undertake a thorough reform of the prosecution services and reduce political parties’ dependence on private donors” – says Inese Tauriņa, executive director of the organisation – “however, the stagnating CPI score shows that much bolder efforts are needed to catch up with our neighbours. Moreover, we should also not forget that the CPI, and the sources behind it, are among the first things that foreign investors look at when they wish to do business in the country. This is of extreme importance in the context of the economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic”.

To improve the CPI score and more successfully tackle corruption in the country, TI Latvia calls for:

1. a strong implementation of the recommendations provided in a recent audit of the prosecution services,

2. the adoption a comprehensive lobbying regulation that ensures transparency and equity in the public decision-making process,

3. and an upgrade of the interest and asset disclosure system for high-level public officials.

Furthermore, TI Latvia calls for businesses to actively contribute to tackling the problem by disclosing data and information about their internal anti-corruption programmes, political engagement through lobbying, organisational structure and global operations.

Note to editors about CPI

The Corruption Perceptions Index is published annually by Transparency International and is the most widely used public sector corruption indicator worldwide. Transparency International Latvia is a branch of the international anti-corruption organisation.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) analyses the private sector’s perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, drawing on 13 different sources, including indices related to democracy and public governance, surveys of businesspeople and expert risk assessments (watch this 4-minute explainer video to learn how TI calculates the CPI). The CPI uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Usually, a score below 50 indicates serious levels of public sector corruption.

For the CPI 2020 score in Latvia, Transparency International drew on nine sources from eight different institutions.[1] The CPI score does not take into account the overall scores achieved in such indices, surveys and expert assessments, but only specific questions related to corruption across different levels and areas.

Further information

  • Link to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 results
  • Link to TI Latvia’s analysis of the CPI results for Latvia
  • Link to Transparency International’s full source description to calculate the CPI results

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Contacts

  • Inese Tauriņa, Executive Director, TI Latvia, taurina@delna.lv, +371 67285585
  • Agnija Birule, Project Manager and Advocacy Officer, TI Latvia, birule@delna.lv
  • Antonio Greco, Project Manager and Researcher, TI Latvia, antonio@delna.lv (information in English language)

 

[1]

The nine sources are: Bertelsmann Foundation’s Sustainable Governance Index and Transformation Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Ratings, Freedom House’s Nations in Transit Ratings, Country Risk Ratings by Global Insight, the World Competitiveness Yearbook by the Institute for Management Development, the International Country Risk Guide by the PRS Group, the Varieties of Democracy Project by the V-Dem institute, and the Executive Opinion Survey by the World Economic Forum.

 

This press release is financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants programme “Active Citizens Fund” .

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