Twenty-five European States have had their key public institutions assessed to determine how effective they are at preventing corruption. Transparency International's National Integrity System (NIS) has been used to carry out a detailed evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of not only the way institutions are organised, but also of the way they operate in practice. The information has been pieced together by means of interviews with key personnel, desk research and field tests.

Those institutions focussed upon were the following: legislature; executive; judiciary; public sector; law enforcement agencies; electoral management body; ombudsman; supreme audit institution; anti-corruption agencies; political parties; media; civil society; and private sector.

The research revealed that certain institutions were at high risk of suffering from corruption, particularly those areas in which there was a cross-over between money and political power. In particular, the research found that: there were not sufficient safeguards to govern the financing of political parties; there was limited access to information; there was little protection for whistleblowers; and very little in the way of regulation for political lobbying.

For more information on the specific states assessed, and the findings of NIS, please click http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/nis.