Swiss position in corruption ranking stagnates

Not quite visible: political financing remains a target of anti-corruption campaigners in Switzerland. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Switzerland has dropped from third to fourth in Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, as progress globally also struggles, according to the NGO.

This content was published on January 23, 2020 - 10:00
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For 2019, as the previous year, Switzerland scored 85 points out of a maximum 100 on the Index, which measures perceived public-sector corruption across 180 countries.

Though the Swiss score remains high, the lack of progress means that it was bypassed to third place this year by Finland. Denmark and New Zealand were joint first.

The Swiss section of Transparency International (TI) said on Wednesday that serious gaps remain in the country when it comes to the financing of politics, the protection of whistleblowers, the fight against money laundering, and corruption in the private and sports sectors.

Martin Hilti, Swiss Director of TI said that in 2020 “politicians will have the change to tackle some of these gaps and to bring concrete improvements through a project for protecting whistleblowers, the reform of the money laundering law, and a people’s initiative on transparency”.

TI said that countries that score well notably have stronger enforcement of campaign-finance regulations – something Switzerland has been criticised for in the past.

Globally, TI regretted that not much progress had been made: two-thirds of countries scored below 50 points, with the average being 43.

Since 2012, it writes, only 22 countries have improved their scores.

Various western nations saw their score drop from 2018-2019, including Canada, France, the UK, and the United States. The latter, who recorded its worst score in eight years, finished 23rd, with the report citing challenges including “threats to the system of checks and balances” and “the ever-increasing influence of special interests in government”.

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