In this episode, our host Ieva Cerniauskaite speaks with the executive director of Transparency International Lithuania, Sergejus Muravjovas.
Sergejus is an anti-corruption expert on a mission to make Lithuania's future more transparent. His agency, Transparency International Lithuania, promotes initiatives that help combat corruption, educate society on transparency, and produce research into the topic.
He will tell us about Lithuania's progress in tackling corruption if citizens trust Lithuania's politicians, and what is the secret to a happier society.
Questions discussed with Sergejus Muravjovas:
You have been the executive director of Transparency International for more than 11 years working in fighting against corruption. To start with, could you tell us more about what Transparency International is, and how you came into this field?
What are some of the top priorities or initiatives of Transparency International?
Could you tell us more about the Corruption Perceptions Index? What does this represent and how is it calculated?
The latest CPI report, released at the beginning of this year, painted a somewhat bleak picture of the world -- with two-thirds of countries scoring below 50 out of 100, and anti-corruption efforts having stalled in many countries. In a modern era where technology and access to information have arguably never been greater, how is it that democracy can be so at risk? What do you attribute that to?
How does acts of corruption affect the lives of everyday people?
I want to shift now more to the Baltics, and Lithuania in particular. In Lithuanian there is a word “Blatas,” which is used to describe obtaining products or services unofficially through your connections. This term originated during the time that Lithuania was a part of the USSR: the market was regulated by the government and goods were not easily accessible in the shops, so people used “Blatas” to get things that they wanted or needed. You could say that was a form of corruption, but sometimes on a smaller scale, and for some it was a form of survival. What are your thoughts on this part of Lithuanian history, and what influence has it had on Lithuanian society?
I would like to talk a little more about the development of consciousness within our society. How would you evaluate the shift in attitudes towards corruption within society in Lithuania?
And related to that, how would you describe the state of Lithuania today, in terms of corruption? What progress has been made in the nearly 30 years since Lithuania regained independence, and what important work still needs to be done?
How would you compare Lithuania’s history and progress on this topic to its Baltic neighbors, Latvia or Estonia, which have a very similar political history?
We’ve talked quite a bit about governments and society, but what should businesses be doing to ensure they operate legally and ethically, and reduce their susceptibility to corruption?
Beyond their internal operations, do you think corporations have any responsibility for helping to combat corruption in society at large?
“Corruption” can sound like a heavy, serious topic, involving people in high positions in government and business. Are there steps that everyday people, perhaps even our listeners, can take to help combat corruption and ensure transparency wherever they are?
We’ve spoken quite a bit about the CPI report and concerning global issues, but do you see any developments that make you optimistic?
As mentioned previously, Transparency International report of recent CPI results does not paint a bright picture. From your experience what could be the recipe for people’s happiness in the world today?
To find out more about anti corruption efforts in Lithuania
Transparency International Lithuania - https://www.transparency.lt/en/
Corruption Perception Index - https://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview
Article is written by Ruta Naujokaitė, who is as well a host at Lithuanian Dream Podcast and the president at LEO in Berlin. Ruta is a Marketing Manager with 7 year’s experience across NGO and digital health sectors. Specialising in digital marketing and passionate about gender equality and bringing Lithuania to the global digital map. She is looking forward to network with people passionate about leadership and marketing in digital health space.