Anticorruption Laws Needed: Transparancy International

Andrej Babis and Milos Zeman

Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – The Czech Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) improved last year only because a few anti-corruption laws took effect, such as the ones on political parties’ financing, conflict of interest and the regulation of gambling, while the country stagnated in all remaining aspects, the TI has said.


In the CPI for 2017, the Czech Republic finished 42nd among the 180 countries surveyed, an improvement against its 47th position last year.


“The Czech Republic’s new position can be interpreted as a consequence of stagnation in some surveyed areas, rather than the start of a positive trend. Since the rating could have been better otherwise,” said the Czech branch of TI.


Its director David Ondracka compared Czech laws to players in a football team that includes no stars but can play fairly well.


“You achieve a decent result now and then, but you can never advance to the Champions League. On the contrary, we are permanently threatened with relegation,” Ondracka said.


According to TI, negative trends also stem from the interlinking of political and economic power.


There are only warning signals that need not have an immediate effect, but consequently they may contribute to a country’s long-lasting fall such as that of Hungary, TI wrote.


Hungary’s position sank by ten points over the last six years.


TI recommends Prague to take several unpopular but simple steps to further improve its CPI.


The political representation must actively defend the authority of democratic institutions and respect the division of power with emphasis being placed on the independent and professional judiciary and police, TI wrote.


Steps must be taken in other areas as well, such as the stabilisation and openness of the public administration, effective public budgets and the release of the identity of the real owners or firms and other corporations. It is also necessary to prevent the dismantling of the civil service law and facilitate people’s access to information as an instrument of public control, TI wrote.


The register of contracts can effectively operate without unnecessary exemptions only.


Stevan Villalobos, from the Ernst & Young consulting firm, said the Western European states and the USA have a lead over the Czech Republic in many anti-corruption measures, mainly in punishing corruption.


The CPI may have a negative impact on the domestic companies that want to enter foreign markets. These companies might be assessed more strictly in terms of a potential risk, Villalobos said.