Belgium 15th least corrupt country in the world
This year, with 77 points, Belgium ranks 15th in the International Transparency Index (ITI). The country retains its position of the previous years, although it does have a better score than the years before (76 in 2014, 75 in 2013 and 2012). The ITI shows to what extent a country is corrupt, with the top ranking country being the least corrupt.
Each year the list is headed by the Scandinavian countries. Denmark is ranked number 1 (91 points), followed by Finland (90 points) and Sweden (89 points).
According to the report almost two-thirds of the 168 investigated countries can be categorised as corrupt, meaning they have scored less than 50 points. The countries in which the situation has severely deteriorated these last 4 years are Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey. Serious improvements were found in Greece, Senegal and the United Kingdom.
Each year the NGO Transparency International investigates the corruption in the public sector. Based on the assessment by experts, all 168 countries are given a score between 0 (extremely corrupt) and 100 (corruption-free). The list is established based on the opinions of specialists in corruption in the public sector. Scores are positively influenced by government transparency, whereby the public can hold leaders to account. Low scores are related to indicators such as bribery, letting corruption go unpunished and public authorities not tailoring their policies (enough) to the needs of their citizens.
The countries with the best scores share characteristics such as a high degree of press freedom, access to budget information so the public knows the sources of funds and how they are being spent, a high level of integrity among individuals in influential positions and a judicial system that does not differentiate between poor and rich and operates completely independent from other public authorities. Features of the lowest scoring countries include bad governance, weak public authorities such as the police and the judicial system and a lack of independent media, as well as conflicts and wars.