Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

What is the present corruption and anti-corruption situation in Denmark?

Content

  1. Overview of corruption in Denmark
  2. Legal and institutional anti-corruption framework
  3. References

Summary

Denmark is not generally associated with corruption. It performs very strongly in international measures of corruption, and most experts agree that its public sector exhibits a high level of integrity. Survey data of citizens’ and businesses’ experience with corruption tend to reflect this situation, with low rates of reported bribery.  

Nevertheless, Denmark does have its own corruption challenges and is not immune to corruption. Recent scandals have thrust the country into the spotlight, such as the major anti-money laundering case involving the largest Danish bank (Danske Bank). Recurring problem areas include private sector corruption, political financing, and Danish overseas territories present particular corruption risks.

Generally speaking, Denmark has a well-established system to deter, detect and sanction corruption. However, there are some gaps in the legislative framework, particularly in the areas of supervision of asset declaration of members of parliament, conflict of interest and lobbying, limited investigation of foreign bribery, non-transparent political financing and limited whistleblower protection, all of which cast a shadow on what is otherwise seen to be a beacon of integrity on the world stage.

Caveat

Denmark is notably absent from many international surveys and indices related to corruption, transparency and private and public sector integrity.

Authors

Iñaki Albisu Ardigó, tihelpdesk@transparency.org    

Reviewer(s)

Marina Buch Kristensen and Karinna Bardenfleth, Transparency International Danmark.

Matthew Jenkins, Transparency International.

Date

08/10/2018

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