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March 23, 2023

EC study: ‘Corruption culture is omnipresent in Romania’

‘The corruption culture is omnipresent in Romania, anti-corruption action is believed to be ineffective and the media discourse only strengthens tolerance of corruption’ shows a comparative study conducted for the European Commission in seven EU member and candidate states, according to ‘Evenimentul zilei’ daily.

‘In countries like Romania and Bulgaria, corruption is seen as widely spread to all society levels and accepted as such. A similar perception pattern also exists in Greece and Turkey, but there are differences. While in the first two, corruption is perceived as the result of transition from communism and of fraudulent privatizations, perceptions in the other countries are in relation with the modernization of the society,’ said Angelos Giannakopoulos, co-ordinator of the study ‘Crime and culture – relevance of corruption perceptions to crime prevention’. The study was conducted in Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, The Hellenic Republic, Germany and Great Britain.

Romanians see some kind of ‘Mafia-like ensemble’ that is above the law, engaging multiple interests from all levels of the society: politics, police, judiciary, public administration, business community, non-government organizations and mass-media. Romania is ‘a corrupt country without any corrupt people’ as there are too few serious convictions for corruption.

As for the media rhetoric, the research highlights the ‘snowball effect’ – the more scandalous the depiction of corruption is in the press, the higher the tolerance of the public to the phenomenon, with media action being ‘completely counterproductive.’

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