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LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), January 23 (SeeNews) – Moldova is Southeast Europe's worst performer in the corruption perception ranking for 2019 prepared by international non-governmental organisation Transparency International, while Bosnia and Herzegovina reported the sharpest decline, the organisation said on Thursday.
"Most post-communist EU member states are struggling to address corruption effectively," the organisaton said in a survey published on its website.
Several countries, including Romania, have taken steps to undermine judicial independence, which weakens their ability to prosecute cases of high-level corruption, it added.
Bulgaria and Romania, at the 74th and 70th spot, respectively, are perceived as the most corrupt EU member states, the survey concludes.
Among countries in SEE, Moldova ranked lowest - at the 140th spot.
"With a score of 36, Bosnia and Herzegovina significantly declined by six points on the CPI [Corruption Perceptions Index] since 2012," the organisaton noted. "The country also suffers from weak enforcement of campaign finance regulations. During the 2018 elections, political parties and civil society organisations raised concerns over voting irregularities, threats against voters, the misuse of public resources and unequal access to the media," it added.
The corruption watchdog calculated the CPI 2019 using 13 different data sources from 12 different institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the past two years.
Slovenia is the region's top performer, moving up one position to the 35th spot.
Slovenia achieved a score of 60 points in the 2019 survey, unchanged from the points scored in the 2018 survey, where 0 equals the highest level of perceived corruption and 100 indicates the lowest one. The survey covers 180 countries.
With a score of 36, Kosovo, is experiencing a shift in parliamentary power that could offer an opportunity for change, the watchdog organisation commented.
"After years of criticising the government and international community in Kosovo for their failure to address corruption, the Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) party, which recently won a majority of parliamentary seats, has a chance to demonstrate its commitment to combating corruption. During the election campaign, the party was one of a few that responded to requests to disclose campaign costs," it said. "However, it remains to be seen if a new government will live up to a higher standard of political integrity. It can do so by abandoning the usual practice of political appointments in state-owned enterprises and by establishing a strong legal obligation for financial disclosure by political parties."
Denmark led Transparency International's CPI global survey for 2019, while Somalia occupied the last place.
Turkey scores 35 on the CPI, a significant decrease of 10 points since 2012.
"There is little space for consultative decision-making in the country. The government recently cracked down on NGOs, closing at least 1,500 foundations and associations and seizing their assets, while continuing to harass, arrest and prosecute civil society leaders," Transparanecy International said.