The Economist Democracy Index: Bulgaria ahead of 4 Countries in the EU
Our country is 46th out of 167 countries "Democracy in ... dies!" Or "Victory of democracy in ...". Every day in world media and social networks there are generalizations about trends and events in one or another country. Where do we judge whether they are true or not? For the real picture of democracy in 167 countries around the world, a large, in-depth and reliable source is the annual Democracy Index of the respected British Economist Intelligence Unit. It is an analytical unit to the Economist Group.
The new annual report for 2018, titled "Me Too," was published a few days ago. It reports, for example, a slight decline in the quality of democracy in the United States - from 7.98 in 2017 to 7.96 last year. In Russia, however, the decline for 12 months is significantly higher - from 3.17 to 2.94. Ratings are on a scale of 0 to 10. The most democratic country in the world in 2018 is Norway with a score of 9.87. Followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark.
Germany is 13th, followed by the UK. France is far behind - 29th. It is no surprise that the most undemocratic country is North Korea - 1.08. The average value of the quality of democracy in the world in 2018 is 5.48 and it remains unchanged from 2017. For the first time in three years, democracy in the world has remained robust and the authors of the study have summarized this as "stopping the decline of democracy". Which, however, may be rather a pause, grimly noted by the Economist.
Power leaders around the world often copied their tactics and management styles, writes the Economist report. It also emphasized the strong polarization of society in the United States. And also on the trend: in some parts of Europe democracy is sick. Italy, for example, falls from 21st to 33rd in the ranking after "voters led to a populist coalition seeking ways to bypass democratic institutions." The result of Turkey in the ranking falls for the sixth consecutive year. The result of Russia has deteriorated for the tenth consecutive year - "Vladimir Putin continues to crush civil liberties".
Where is Bulgaria?
Bulgaria's result - 7.03 - remains unchanged compared to 2017. Bulgaria is ranked 46th out of 167 countries in the world. And climbs up one place, because Jamaica, which was before us in 2017, has fallen into the rankings. Interestingly, Bulgaria is ahead of countries like Poland and Hungary, which we have long perceived as a model of political development during the Democratic transition period. With a score of 6.67, Poland is 54th. Hungary is 57th with 6.63. Bulgaria is ahead of two other EU countries - Romania and Croatia. Romania has a score of 6.38 and 66th. According to the Democracy Index, our northern neighbor also marks a remarkable deterioration in the quality of democracy - a year earlier, its result was 6.44. "Economist" ranked Bulgaria in the quality of its democracy before Croatia, which is 60th with a score of 6.57. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe with a better level of more democratic processes than in our country include Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovakia. Greece also has better performance - score 7.29, 39th position on the list. It is, however, the only country in the region with a better democracy than Bulgaria. Serbia is 63rd, Albania - 76th, Macedonia - 78th.
Only 5% of the world's population currently lives in full democracy, and nearly one third under authoritarian regimes. Bulgaria falls into the second group - the countries with "disadvantaged democracy". Global scenario: The global upsurge of civic participation, coupled with continued pressure on civil rights and freedoms, is an explosive mix. This may be a recipe that will bring instability in 2019.
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