Romania ranks last in European democracy

Mitingul Partidului Social Democrat fata de ceea ce liderii acestui partid denumesc abuzurile statului paralel, in Bucuresti, sambata, 9 iunie 2018. Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Romania reportedly ranks last among EU countries for democracy and 62nd world-wide, with a score of 6.45, according to the annual index of democracies set up by the British group The Economist.

The study has 4 areas of classification: authoritarian regimes, hybrid regimes, deficient democracies and full democracies.

Five criteria categories were taken into account to set up the classification: election processes and pluralism, government functioning, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

With a score of 6.45, Romania is included among the most deficient democracies, along with most East and Central European states (except for Austria, considered a full democracy), to which Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Greece and Cyprus are added.

Northern states, as well as France, Spain and Germany are “full democracies”.

In the general classification, which includes 167 countries, Romania ranks 62nd, while Bulgaria is 57th (score 6.53), Hungary is 56th (score 6.64) and Poland 47th (score 7.04). Austria ranks 20th, with a score of 8.20.

Moldova, which in 2021 was chosen “country of the year” by The Economist, for the leaps it has made in the improvement of its image, ranks 69th, with a score of 6.23.

In Europe there are six countries with a “hybrid regime”: Turkey (103rd, score 4.35), Bosnia (97th, score 5), Kosovo, Georgia (90th, score 5.20), Ukraine (87th, score 5.42), Armenia (82nd, score 5.63).

Predictably, following its invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s democracy level has dropped the most in 2022, becoming 146th of 167 countries, lower than countries like Burkina Faso and Haiti, according to the democracy index. It has been included among “authoritarian regimes”.

The Ukraine war “showed the divisons between developed democracies which back Ukraine and many developing countries which chose not to adopt any position”, the survey demonstrates.

Authoritatian regimes include countries like Haiti “which seems to be in a state of internal dissolution”, (135th position, going down 16 places) and Burkina Faso (127th, going down by 16 positions), where “an Islamic insurrection made the state lose control on some of the territory”.

Lifting restrictions imposed by Covid 19 pandemic improved scores of many countries, France included (23rd position, score 8.07), Spain (22nd, climbing 2 positions, score 8.07) and Chile (19th, climbing 6 positions, score 8.22), which returns to the full democracy group.

At regional level, Western Europe is the only regions which has decisively improved its score in 2022. Eight out of the first ten countries of the classification are from Western Europe.

“North America, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe and Subsaharian Africa have stagnated, while Latin America, the Middle East and Northern Africa underwent drops,”the EIU analysis shows.

The United States rank 30th, with a score of 7.85, while Great Britain is 18th, with 8.28.

At global level, 2022 democracy index grew from 5.28 in 2021 to 5.29 in 2022.

Unfortunately, over a third of the world population (36.9%) lives under “authoritarian regimes”.

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