On a global scale, there has been a "continuous decline" in the fight against irregularities including the payment of bribes in operations abroad, according to the German-based non-governmental organisation (NGO).

In Europe, according to the NGO's study, "a gloomy outlook" prevails in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Sweden, where there has been "a brutal abandonment" of commitment to measures to combat irregularities.

In the last two years these countries (including Portugal) have moved from the category of "moderate application" to "limited application", according to the standards established by the NGO.

Other EU countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Finland or Luxembourg remain in the "non-existent application" category.

Lack of resources

Among the reasons for this situation, TI mentions that, in "almost all" of the countries evaluated, police or investigation authorities against economic and financial crimes lack the necessary resources.

Despite the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, in all aspects, including the fight against corruption, Transparency International indicates that the "registered decline" began to be noticed before the health crisis, reflecting "a profound political will".

The non-governmental organization that prepares the launch of the biannual report entitled "The Export of Corruption" warns that levels similar to those verified in 2009 have been reached.

In 2018, 27% of the countries studied actively applied the Anti-Corruption Convention of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but between 2020 and 2022 there was a reduction to 16.5% and 11.8%, respectively, which means a decline of 56% in four years.

“Governments face many challenges, from [fighting] kleptocracy to climate disasters and economic chaos,” said Transparency International President Delia Ferrera in a statement.

According to the first findings of Transparency International, currently only two countries - out of a total of 47 - remain on the "active implementation" list of the OECD convention: the United States and Switzerland.

Paradoxically, the United States and Switzerland are also at the bottom of the table in terms of "financial transparency".