Democracy in Bulgaria in Decline for 8th Consecutive Year – Freedom House

Society | June 25, 2015, Thursday // 10:05| Views: | Comments: 6
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Bulgaria: Democracy in Bulgaria in Decline for 8th Consecutive Year – Freedom House Print screen

Democracy in Bulgaria has been in decline for the past 8 years, according to an annual report of US-based NGO Freedom House.

Bulgaria’s democracy score registers a minor change from 3.25 to 3.29 on an annual basis, according to the Nations in Transit 2015 report of Freedom House.

Bulgaria is ranked as a semi-consolidated democracy.

The survey tales into account the following indicators – electoral process, civil society, independent media, national democratic governance, independent media, local democratic governance, national democratic governance, judicial framework and independence, and corruption.

The democracy scores and regime ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest. The 2015 ratings reflect the period January 1 through December 31, 2014.

Bulgaria scores 2.25 in the electoral process category, 2.25 in the civil society category, 4.00 n the independent media category, 3.75 in the national democratic governance category, 3.00 in the local democratic governance category, 3.50 in the judicial framework and independence category, and 4.25 in the corruption category.

Bulgaria’s score has only changed in one category on an annual basis, judicial framework and independence, from 3.25 to 3.50, which causes the country’s overall democracy score to deteriorate from 3.25 to 3.29.

The findings of the 2015 edition of Nations in Transit (NIT), Freedom House’s annual study of democratic governance in 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia.

Bulgaria ranks 9th out of 29 countries.

Of the 29 countries assessed for 2014, 13 are rated as democracies, 6 as transitional regimes, and 10 as authoritarian regimes.

As in each of the previous 10 years, the average democracy score declined in 2014, with 12 countries suffering downgrades.

“Since the collapse of communism, Bulgaria has consolidated a system of democratic institutions and joined its neighbors as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and the European Union (EU) in 2007. A number of general, presidential, and local elections have been held freely, fairly, and without disturbance,” the NGO states.

“These successes notwithstanding, political stability has eluded Bulgarian politics in the last few years and the country’s democratic institutions have displayed a number of weaknesses,” Freedom House informs.

“Since 2012, Bulgaria has had three governments and two caretaker cabinets. Inefficiency and graft within the political system as a whole, and the judiciary in particular, are considered major obstacles in the country’s fight against high-level corruption and organized crime.

Public trust in democratic institutions is low, and some ethnic minorities face discrimination. In 2014, the country struggled with a banking crisis that grew out of the cozy relationship between businessmen and politicians. Following months of political gridlock, in October, Bulgaria held its second early elections in less than 18 months,” the report states.

“The year 2015 will be challenging for Bulgaria’s political system. The coalition government will have to preserve its majority in the parliament while implementing policies that will not make it popular in the country. Local elections are scheduled for October, and competition on the local level will dominate political discourse in the national political arena as well,” Freedom House predicts.

The full report is available here.

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» To the forumComments (6)
Fr Jack Hackett - 28 Jun 2015 // 13:26:40

Democracy seems to be in decline throughout the rest of the EU too, especially in countries in the west eg the UK. There again, I suppose it depends what is meant by democracy in the 21st century

je suis anglais - 27 Jun 2015 // 09:22:34

a very Bulgarian attitude there - you don't address any of the facts, but instead claim that so long as other people are worse off than you, then everything is ok.

GrueFski - 27 Jun 2015 // 00:49:53

you must be obedient to the US since that's the most democratic country in the world
if you are the most US-obedient country in the world you automatically score 2nd place in countries' democracy ranking list

actually, it's more serious than that, more serious than being obedient (which is nothing new for Bg or any other country in the region, only this time Bg is obedient to a country that's less dictatorial than the Soviet Union or the Ottoman Empire ("more democratic" is the usual phrasing but we all know just how "democratic" the US is))
it's more serious because the freemasons running the US can have Bulgaria (or any other country) lose portions of its territory to some of its neighbors in no time

Baka no kaze - 27 Jun 2015 // 00:33:36

An other ngo which rates the level of democracy according to the level of obedience to the US

GrueFski - 25 Jun 2015 // 11:02:21

as if corruption in Bg were much bigger than the one in Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia, F YROM, Albania and so on

GrueFski - 25 Jun 2015 // 11:01:07

Freedom House: probably just another freemasons' org
just like the guy from World Bank or IMF who says foreigners won't invest in Bg because they are asked for bribes. As if this didn't happen in Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, F YROM, Kosovo and so on. As if there were much less foreign investments in Bg then, say, 1 year ago.

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria