Corruption is a serious problem that hampers corporate activity in the EU: about 65% of companies in the EU have regarded presently that corruption is a problem when doing business, though the extent of corruption varies considerably among the states.
The highest proportions of companies for which corruption is a problem are in Romania (75%), Greece (74%), Cyprus and Latvia (both 72%), while the lowest proportions are observed in Denmark (6%), Estonia (7%) and Ireland (7%).
More than three quarters of companies in the EU (78%) agree that too close links between business and politics in their country lead to corruption. 72% agree that “favoritism” and corruption hamper business competition in their country while 59% agree that bribery and the use of connections is often the easiest way to obtain certain public services in their country.
Over one-third of EU companies agree that the only way to succeed in business in their country is to have political connections; and less than four in ten companies (37%) agree that measures against corruption are applied impartially and without great success.
About 65% of companies in the EU think that the problem of corruption is widespread in their country (in Denmark – 19 percent). This represents a slight rise since 2022, but the figure remains somehow lower than the total proportion of responded that the problem of corruption was widespread in 2015.
However, corruption (35%) is not the most mentioned problem for a company when doing business. The complexity of administrative procedures (68%) fast-changing legislation and policies (64%) and tax rates (63%) are the main problems corporate entities face when doing business in their country.
The following practices are mostly widespread in the EU and Latvia:
= Favoring friends and/or family members in public institutions – 48 %, and in Latvia -55%;
= Funding political parties in exchange for public contracts or influence over policy making – 38 percent and in Latvia – 47%;
= Favoring friends and/or family members in business – 46 % and 41% in Latvia;
= Tax fraud or non-payment of VAT -29 in EU and 32 % in Latvia.