Freedom House: Bulgaria Is Free Country
Bulgaria, along with the other EU Member States has been designated as "free" on the so-called "Freedom Map," included in the annual assessment of the Washington DC-based research institute Freedom House.
In addition to the EU countries, in Europe Serbia and Monte Negro are also marked as free.
Global freedom suffered its fifth consecutive year of decline in 2010, according to Freedom in the World 2011, annual assessment of political rights and civil liberties. This represents the longest continuous period of decline in the nearly 40-year history of the survey. The year featured drops in the number of Free countries and the number of electoral democracies, as well as an overall deterioration for freedom in the Middle East and North Africa region.
A total of 25 countries showed significant declines in 2010, more than double the 11 countries exhibiting noteworthy gains. The number of countries designated as Free fell from 89 to 87, and the number of electoral democracies dropped to 115, far below the 2005 figure of 123. In addition, authoritarian regimes like those in China, Egypt, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela continued to step up repressive measures with little significant resistance from the democratic world.
Published annually since 1972, Freedom in the World examines the ability of individuals to exercise their political and civil rights in 194 countries and 14 territories around the world. The latest edition analyzes developments that occurred in 2010 and assigns each country a freedom status—Free, Partly Free, or Not Free—based on a scoring of performance on key democracy indicators.
According to the report, a free country is a country where there is large-scale political competition and observance of civil liberties. The existence of independent media is one of the main criteria of freedom.
In partly free countries there are some restrictions of political and civil liberties expressed by corruption, weak law enforcement institutions, ethnic tensions, and even civil war. Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina have been listed as partly free.
Not free are countries with systematic violations of key civil liberties.
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