Development Minister Mogens Jensen said the top-place ranking gives Denmark's "word even more weight when we speak out against corruption". Photo: David Leth Williams/Scanpix
Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) measures the perception of corruption in 175 countries and this year found that corruption appears to be worsening in China, Turkey and other fast-growing economies. Denmark, however, was held up as an example to other countries.
“While top performer Denmark has strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, it also set an example this November, announcing plans to create a public register including beneficial ownership information for all companies incorporated in Denmark,” Transparency International wrote in a press release.
Denmark’s develop minister, Mogens Jensen, said the country’s top ranking strengthens its voice on the international stage.
“The Danes can be proud that we once again stand at the top of the anti-corruption list. That gives our word even more weight when we speak out against corruption and in favour of openness in the world’s poorest countries,” Jensen said.
The CPI pointed to a rise in reports of corruption in Turkey, which suffered the year's biggest fall in rank, and low rankings for the major emerging economies known collectively as the BRICs — Brazil, Russia, India and China.
The Berlin-based group's table is the most widely used gauge of corruption by governments, police, court systems, political parties and bureaucracies, a scourge it says undermines development and deepens poverty.
But this year Transparency International highlighted the role multinational banks and the world's financial centres play in allowing the dodgy elites of some developing countries to stash away or launder their ill-gotten millions.
The organisation says that because corruption is illegal and secretive, it cannot be empirically measured. So instead it collates surveys from the World Bank, African Development Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit and other bodies.
It then ranks 175 countries on a scale of 0-100, where zero means very corrupt and 100 signifies very clean. Denmark’s score of 92 was enough to earn it the top spot, above New Zealand (91), Finland (89), Sweden (87) and Norway (86). The average score for all countries was 43, and two thirds of the ranked countries were below 50.
Turkey slumped the most, dropping five points to a CPI score of 45. China was down four points to 36, the same decline as Rwanda, Malawi and Angola.