NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 12:56
The Netherlands became slightly more corrupt last year, Transparency International (TI) reports in its annual corruption ranking. With 80 points, the Netherlands achieved its lowest score ever. Our country is still one of the ten countries with the least corrupt public sector. The Netherlands is in eighth place, as in previous years.
The fact that the Netherlands has dropped a few points is mainly due to the lack of political integrity, explains TI spokesperson Andor Admiraal. “For example, there is no good lobby register, which means there is insufficient supervision of lobbyists. There are also far fewer rules about the financing of political parties than in other countries. Furthermore, a cooling-off period for politicians is not properly arranged.”
By this, Admiral means that politicians can switch from one moment to the next to a sector that they previously had to control. For example, CDA Member of Parliament Raymond Knops announced last week that he will lead the lobby club for the arms industry. Knops is now a deputy member of the Defense Committee of the House of Representatives.
Earlier there was a fuss about the transfer from Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) to the sector association of energy companies. This raised doubts about conflicts of interest and undesirable political influence.
Admiraal: “Almost half of national former politicians later become lobbyists. That is a real problem in the Netherlands, because voters must know that people in politics make decisions based on their political ideas. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest is enough to undermine that trust.”
Somalia in last place
Not only the Netherlands, other European countries also achieved historically poor results, such as Sweden (83 points), Switzerland (82) and Luxembourg (77). The United Kingdom lost 5 points and achieved a score of 73. The UK thus dropped to eighteenth place in the ranking. TI points to a range of possible corruption scandals in UK politics.
A score of 100 means that no public sector corruption is observed in a country. Denmark is at the top with 90 points. The most corrupt country is Somalia, which only got 12 points.
Anti-corruption organization Transparency International compiles the list based on thirteen studies by other organizations.
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