According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published by Transparency International, Serbia ranks 96th out of 180 countries and territories, with a corruption index of 38 for the second consecutive year, i.e. the lowest score so far.
Serbia shares 96th place with five other countries – Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Lesotho, and Turkey. Serbia and other countries from the Western Balkans are classified in Eastern Europe and Central Asia group.
The report recalls that Serbia is no longer considered a democracy but a hybrid regime. The Government has become notorious for its strong influence on the media, harassing independent critics and holding unfair elections.
The Government’s lack of transparency over significant foreign investment is a widespread concern, reflected in a recent wave of public protests against a controversial lithium exploration project.
The country-level movement has forced the President and his ruling Serbian Progressive Party to amend the referendum law and repeal laws that would make it easier for the state to expropriate the country.
The CPI report stresses that throughout the Western Balkans and in Turkey, which has an index of 38, the concentration of power in autocratic leaders and their parties has undermined judicial independence, which helps maintain the capture of the state.
Authoritarian governments are said to have spied on, harassed and attacked activists, journalists, opposition leaders and ordinary citizens across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Only three countries in the region have an index above the global average of 43: Georgia 55, Armenia 49 and Montenegro 46.
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