Eighty-five per cent of businesses in Bulgaria polled by Eurobarometer saw corruption as widespread in the country, the European Commission said on December 9.
This result, in the 2019 poll, was four percentage points lower than in a similar poll by Eurobarometer done in 2017.
The poll found that 51 per cent of businesses in Bulgaria saw corruption as a problem, compared with an average in the European Union of 37 per cent.
Given a range of options regarding which form of corruption was most widespread in Bulgaria and able to choose up to three answers, 46 per cent named funding of political parties in exchange for public contracts or influence over public policy, 39 per cent said kickbacks and 27 per cent said bribes.
Asked if anyone in Bulgaria had asked or expected from the company to give a gift, favour or extra money in exchange for permits – such as building, land use or environmental permits, among others – or services, 12 per cent of those polled said yes, a drop of four percentage points compared with the 2017 poll.
Asked if, in the past three years, they believed that corruption had prevented their company from getting a public tender or procurement contract, 30 per cent of the businesses polled in Bulgaria said yes and 63 per cent said no. In the case of “yes”, this was a drop of one percentage point, and in the case of “no”, a gain of three percentage points compared with 2017.
Forty-eight per cent did not agree that people and businesses in Bulgaria caught for petty corruption were appropriately punished, while 75 per cent rejected the statement that people and businesses caught bribing a senior official were appropriately punished.
Seventy per cent did not believe that people or businesses engaged in corruption in Bulgaria would face charges and go to court, the Eurobarometer poll found.