Many citizens in Germany doubt that the government will make its decisions independently and purely on the basis of objective criteria.

This is the result of the “Global Corruption Barometer” (GCB) study by the non-governmental organization Transparency International.

It is based on a representative survey of more than 40,000 people in the 27 Member States, which is carried out every five years in the European Union.

Corinna Budras

Business correspondent in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

    According to this, around a third of citizens believe that there is a problem with corruption within the federal government. More than 61 percent have the impression that the government is largely controlled by a few large interest groups that only represent their own interests. According to their impression, corruption tended to increase in the past Corona year, find a quarter of those surveyed; more than half, however, do not see any development, neither positive nor negative. Irrespective of this, almost 80 percent of those surveyed also say: They basically have confidence in the federal government.

    The “Global Corruption Barometer” is what it claims to be the largest survey of citizens on the subject of corruption. It is intended to reflect the citizens' impression of the credibility of their government and complements an annual survey of experts on the subject. It was collected for the first time in 2003 and sets different regional priorities every year. "This makes it clear once again: After various lobby scandals such as Cum-Ex or Wirecard, many people's confidence in the independence of the federal government has been shaken," says Hartmut Bäumer, Chairman of Transparency Germany. He repeated the demand that the recently adopted lobby register should be significantly improved again. Both parliament and government should make it clear who is involved in the creation of laws.

    According to the survey, Germany is still doing relatively well within the European Union. On average, as many as 62 percent of EU citizens believe that corruption is a problem in their government. In Bulgaria and Croatia this is more than 90 percent each. Conversely, the Danes and Finns have the most trust in their leadership. Only 12 and 16 percent of those surveyed there have the impression that it is not about factual issues.

    Germans have also had their own experiences with corruption: 3.2 percent of those surveyed stated that they had paid bribes for a public service in the past twelve months. However, personal contacts pay off much more often: every fifth person has had relationships in the past year. However, many consider the problem in the relationship between politics and business to be much more serious: More than half believe that companies use money or relationships to get public contracts. In this context, Bäumer criticized the fact that, contrary to what had been agreed in this legislative period, the government was unable to agree on a new law on corporate sanctions.