Croatia ranked 11th in a survey of direct and indirect public funding for electoral campaigns, contribution and expenditure restrictions, reporting and public disclosure, third-party actors, monitoring and enforcement.
The survey, entitled "Money, Politics and Transparency", was conducted in 54 countries by the non-governmental organisation Global Integrity.
Croatia scored 62 out of 100 points, sharing the 11th place with Slovenia and Poland. Georgia topped the ranking with 79 points, followed by Argentina with 72 points and Costa Rica with 71 points, while Malawi, Solomon Island and Sri Lanka finished at the bottom with five, 15 and 16 points respectively.
Croatia scored the best for restrictions on campaign contributions and expenditure, direct and indirect public funding, reporting and public disclosure, but was rated poorly for the lack of any regulation on third-party actors.
One of the pollsters, Zorislav Antun Petrovic, explained that non-party actors referred to the involvement of non-political stakeholders in the election race, such as trade unions or associations that can influence public opinion through their advertisements.
Dragan Zelic of the non-governmental election monitoring organisation GONG said that Croatia's overall score was good and that it showed that Croatia was making fast progress following the improvement of legislation governing the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns.
"The legal framework has been improved by civil society organisations, the (previous) government of Jadranka Kosor and the current government," Zelic noted.
Petrovic said that Croatia could score even better by introducing monthly reporting in a computer-searchable format, regulating the participation of third-party actors in electoral campaigns and increasing the independence of the State Electoral Commission.