Perception and the spread of corruption in Ukraine
- In assessment of changes’ dynamics in the fight against corruption, the majority believe that the situation quickly deteriorated last year. This is the opinion of 56% in 2014 versus 50% in 2013.
- In addition, the percentage of those who see positive changes in fight against corruption has decreased by half (from 8% in 2013 to 4% in 2014).
- About 30% gave a bribe or made a gift to the public servant for service during last year. Two thirds consider that corruption is a significant problem (only 1% does not consider that corruption is a problem). A half attributed corruption to the key problems for the country.
- However, in considering the corruption as an important personal problem, only one fifth of Ukrainian respondents consider corruption as such important personal problem. This means that population understands corruption as an abstract problem affecting all men, but not everyone. The poorest population categories, aged persons, unemployed, people with lower education level believe to much less level that corruption is their own problem.
- The corruption understanding is ambiguous: on the one hand it is a disease that prevents the society development (54%) on the other – a mechanism without which the society cannot exist (41%). This ambivalence flows from the fact that corruption is considered as one of the most effective mechanisms for solving personal problems – the third part are ready to give bribe to official if they believe in positive solution. It is mostly people of younger and middle age, with higher education and higher income, mostly men living in more in cities than in rural areas.
- Interestingly that almost 40% justifying corruption when it comes to solving their personal problems, half less (21%) – when it comes to solving issues which are important for the society. Those who already have experience of providing compensation to address personal issues justify corruption to the most extent.
- If 53% supports tougher penalties for those who take bribes, only 21% support tougher penalties for those who give a bribe.
- Also, another interesting point: nepotism is considered to be less significant problem than corruption. For Ukrainians it is traditional to solve issues through “connections”, and if the nepotism phenomenon for high power they tend to condemn, at the personal level this problem is usually not recognized.
- It appears that one of the key reasons for low efficiency of the fight against corruption in Ukraine is low understanding of public corruption nature. Accordingly, the corruption combating success will depend not only on the specific reforms and the government’s actions, but also on public awareness of personal responsibility for overcoming this problem.
- Ukrainian traditionally considered as most corruptive traffic police, police, courts, as well as prosecutor’s offices and health care system. The clear trend was recorded: the more level of understanding that the institution is corruptive, the less level of trust in such institution.
- For example, three quarters of the population have no trust in police, the vast majority (64%) believe that the key problem for police is corruption. Thus, the main association with the police is corruption, and without this problem solving it will be hard return confidence in the institution.
- It is necessary to pay attention also to another issue. According to the majority, the police problems are not new and have arisen either in the USSR times or at the independence beginning.
- Similarly, the majority consider the combating corruption methods – in the same old way. First of all, we talk about punitive measures, while instruments such as introduction of the citizens’ evaluation system, election of district inspectors are much less supported. The increase of wages for police offices is at all supported only one in six, judges – only one in ten.
- This means, that citizens perceive fighting corruption problem as somewhat one-sided and, again, do not want to share responsibility. It is hardly to understand for many people, why when they are poor, the wages for someone should be raised, especially for workers and institutions associated with corruption. People often do not understand the nexus: the way to overcome poverty is through fighting corruption and methods of struggle should be effective, they must first of all to eliminate opportunities for corruption, minimize corruption component.
- Business, in its turn, takes the fight against corruption in a more broad way: the priorities are believed in simplifying licensing systems, bureaucracy reducing and business and government separation. In today’s conditions the corruption component is one of a mechanism that ensures business implementation, maybe because of this reason the business owners are not willing to support increasing penalties to those who give bribes, offering to eliminate opportunities for corruption, to exclude its possibility rather than to impose punitive measures.