Global anti-corruption organization, Transparency International (TI) has today released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and Armenia has cemented itself as among one of the best countries that made a huge effort during 2019; for the first time Armenia recorded a relatively major growth, raising its score from 35 to 42.
Armenia is placed 77th (up from 105th last year) among 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions index 2019 released by the Transparency International. Other countries in the region are placed as follows: Georgia is 44th, Turkey – 91st, Azerbaijan 126th, Iran – 146th. Armenia’s partners in the Eurasian Economic Union Russia and Kazakhstan are ranked 137th and 113th respectively, Belarus is 66th, Kyrgyzstan is 126th. Note that New Zealand tops the tanking followed by Denmark and Finland.
As per the annual report, the Following the revolution in 2018 and the formation of a new parliament, the country has demonstrated promising developments in advancing anti-corruption policy reforms, despite these improvements, conflicts of interests and nontransparent and unaccountable public operations remain impediments to ending corruption in the country. While improving political integrity will take time and resources, increasing public trust in law enforcement and the judiciary are critical first steps in ensuring appropriate checks and balances and improving anti-corruption efforts; In Armenia, political will and implementation of anti-corruption policies are important, while fundamental and urgent change of political culture and governance is crucial.
Basically, this progress is due to the extra effort for all concerned people and bodies starting from the government, civil society and also the citizens and the power of the people who made the real change. Progress in anti-corruption should continue to climb more into the top of index list; we can fall back next year in case the Armenian government does not take immediate steps to ensure more and more the independence of institutions, including the judiciary, and fully support civil society, which enhances additionally the political / economical / social engagements and public oversight.
Armenia has achieved remarkable progress in fighting corruption over the last year. This success was largely due to notable law-enforcement and administrative simplifications that eliminated petty and remarkable corruption in the public administration. Now that these ‘low-hanging’ fruits have been picked, Armenia is now at the next stage of fighting corruption and, as many other countries, may be facing a new challenge of high level and complex corruption. Armenia is in a strong position to address this challenge, but to be successful it should not wait in complacency, but be a creative and active anti-corruption fighter, as it has been so far. In this stage, the role of civil society in Armenia is very clear and obvious into a more transparent positioning starting from international standards implementation to anti-corruption local application.
For now, the civil society in Armenia plays an increasing role in governance, promoting transparency and accountability to tackle corruption. Development Agencies, NGOs, Media and experts can strengthen both civil society and cabinet to take and initiate more anti-corruption initiatives and finally, together government reformers and civil society members and modules can create sustainable and efficient action plans for 2020 that make Armenian government more inclusive, responsive and accountable. Let’s do it!