Transparency International: Corruption persists in Czechia despite marginal gains

Experts at Transparency International blame Czech politics for its absence of a 'strategic approach' in combating corruption. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 30.01.2024 10:44:00 (updated on 30.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia has slightly improved its score in the newly released 2023 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), but continues to have systemic problems with corruption. On a worldwide basis, it ranks 41st out of 180 countries (with the top-ranked country being the least corrupt).

The country’s overall position in the index falls below the EU average and lags behind most of its western neighbors and the Baltic states. However, Czechia performs better than its Visegrád neighbors of Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Czechia also ranked 41st in the 2022 index, but its score (the higher, the less corrupt) has increased from 56 to 57 this year.

Czech government not doing enough

Transparency International cites a lack of government efforts and a stagnant political culture as the main reasons for the country's low score. Chairman of the board of directors at Transparency International Czech Republic Jan Spáčil states: “Czech politicians are not actively addressing the problem and are falling behind other European countries." Spáčil also points to an absence of a real “strategic approach” in tackling Czech corruption. 

Petr Leyer, a lawyer and member of the Czech branch of Transparency International, adds that while some individual ministries are making efforts, the government as a whole does not consider corruption to be a “fundamental problem.”

Transparency International points out that the Czech Republic often only adopts anti-corruption legislation after external pressure from the EU and that lengthy and ideologically-charged debates often precede these laws.


  • 9. Germany
  • 20. Austria
  • 36. Spain
  • 41. Czechia
  • = 42. Italy
  • = 42. Slovenia
  • = 47. Poland
  • = 47. Slovakia
  • 57. Croatia
  • 76. Hungary

Transparency International's Czech branch recalled that the country's Whistleblower Protection Act came into effect last August, which is probably the biggest anti-corruption legislative initiative of the current coalition government. Transparency International notes that far more needs to be done to improve checks and balances between sections of Czech public administration to erode corruption. 

Trailing behind other EU countries

According to the organization, this is in stark contrast to other EU countries where anti-corruption measures are the norm. The organization emphasizes that Czech politicians are particularly unwilling to address their own behavior and improve the country's political culture.

The Czech Republic's CPI score places it behind other EU countries, such as Estonia, which scored 76 points and is "running away" from the Czech Republic, according to Spáčil. The organization also notes that the country's ranking is still far behind Denmark's, which received the highest score globally (90 points).

It is not all bad news, however. Czechia ranks the highest out of Central and Eastern Europe, and even marginally outscores Italy.

While the Czech Republic has made some progress in fighting corruption, there is still a long way to go. The lack of government efforts and a stagnant political culture continue to hinder the country's ability to improve its ranking on the CPI. 

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