A first-of-its-kind report issued by the European Union on Monday found that corruption across 28 member states costs the EU economy $162.19 billion a year.
The EU Anti-Corruption Report found that 76% of Europeans think corruption is widespread and 56% say the level of corruption in their own country has risen over the past three years. The report notes that many member nations have taken steps in recent years to battle petty or institutional corruption, but that results aren’t even across the states.
“Corruption undermines citizens’ confidence in democratic institutions and the result of law, it hurts the European economy and deprives states of much-needed tax revenue,” said European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in a statement on Monday. “Member states have done a lot in recent years to fight corruption, but today’s report shows that it is far from enough.”
Despite its finding that graft is endemic throughout the E.U., the report found that Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden are among the most transparent and least corrupt. Countries that need improvement include Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Portugal, Romania and Spain, said the report.