EU raises concern over financing of political parties in Hungary.

By bne IntelliNews February 4, 2014

The financing of political parties in Hungary is seen as a main source of corruption practices in Hungary, the European Commission said in its anti-corruption report, which provides an analysis of corruption within the EU’s member states and of the steps taken to prevent and fight it.

Hungarian authorities also need to strengthen control mechanisms surrounding public procurement procedures and conflicts of interest among public officials. More efforts are required in order to improve accountability standards for elected and appointed officials and to deal with risks concerning favouritism in public administration. The EU also called for progressively elimination of the practice of gratitude payments in the healthcare sector in Hungary.

The commission acknowledged the introduction of a number of tools to increase integrity and transparency in public administration as well as the development of ambitious anti-corruption policies.

According to an opinion poll, presented alongside the anti-corruption report, 89% of Hungarian citizens agree that corruption is widespread in the country and 13% of Hungarians say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Hungary dropped one place to rank 47th out of 177 countries in the 2013 global corruption ranking of Transparency International. In regional comparison, the country lagged behind Estonia (28 rank), Poland (38 rank), Slovenia (43 rank) and Lithuania (43 rank) but outperformed Latvia (49 rank), Czech Republic (57 rank) and Slovakia (61 rank).

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