However, the willingness of Slovaks to join anti-corruption activities are below average.

Every fifth household in Slovakia admits to have paid a bribe dealing with public institutions within last year. After Lithuania and Greece, it is the third highest figure in the European Union. On average, only a tenth of EU respondents have paid a bribe. The most affected areas in Slovakia are healthcare, applications for various permits from public institutions, and dealing with the police. These are the results of the Global Corruption Barometer 2013, the most recent global survey among more than 100,000 citizens of 107 countries conducted by Transparency International.

The poor pay bribes more often than the rich, most notably senior people in healthcare. People in the above-average income bracket typically bribe  tax bureaus, and when trying to change land zoning. The middle class pays more than others to the police and courts.

Passive citizens

Even though two-thirds of Slovak citizens believe that even ordinary people can help the country in fighting corruption (the EU average is 61%), their willingness to take concrete action is very low in comparison to other EU countries. Only a half of Slovaks would be willing to report corruption, which is the 16th worst result of the 107 surveyed countries. In the EU, where three-quartersof citizens

Less than 40% of Slovaks would participate in a peaceful anti-corruption demonstration, a quarter would join an anti-corruption organisation, and only a fifth would be willing to pay extra for goods from a company not involved in corruption. Passivity of citizens grows swiftly with age and slightly decreases with higher income of the respondents.

According to the survey, Slovaks are afraid of reporting corruption especially because of an eventual revenge – as much as 40% are afraid because of the consequences (from within the EU, only citizens of Cyprus, Italy, and Portugal are more fearful). Another 37% think that reporting unfair practice would have no effect. It is also alarming that as much as 22% don’t know where to report corruption, which is the second worst figure in the EU.

Government is allegedly controlled by private interests

According to the survey, Slovaks don’t trust the government either. As much as 63% of them claim that the governments anti-corruption activities are inefficient. Approximately the same amount think that the Slovak government is controlled by private interests in the background. The most corrupt institution according to the Slovaks is the judiciary (69% consider it corrupt), followed by public servants/officials and political parties.

About Barometer

The Global Corruption Barometer is the largest global survey on corruption. The latest round was conducted from September 2012 to March 2013 on a sample of 114,000 citizens of 107 countries. In Slovakia, the data was collected on a representative sample of 1,000 respondents in September 2012.

Gabriel Šípoš

Director of Transparency International Slovakia

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You can find all the relevant information related to the Global Corruption Barometer (graphic material, detailed results and methodology) on Transparency International’s website – http://www.transparency.org/gcb2013

Detailed results for Slovakia (excel file)