Georgia ranks 89th out of 165 countries in EIU's Democracy Index

The latest edition of the Democracy Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper, reads that democracy is in decline in Georgia.

The survey, which rates the state of democracy across 167 countries based on five measures: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties, reads that Georgia ranks 89th out of 165 countries, and its score is down 0.08% from the previous year.

Georgia had exactly the same place in the 2018 rating but last year its score was 5.50, down from 5.93 in 2017, however, in the 2019 index it has 5.42.

Georgia got the worst score (3.21 points) in the functioning component of the Georgian government, and the best (7.83 points) in the electoral process and pluralism. It showed 6.11 points in the component of political participation and 4.38 in the component of political culture, while it got 5.59 in the component of civil liberties.

Georgia’s scores in the index since 2010 are as follows: 2010 – 4.59 points, 2011 – 4.74, 2012 – 5.53, 2013 – 5.95, 2014 – 5.82, 2015 – 5.88, 2016 – 5.93, 2017 – 5.93, 2018 - 5.50 and 2019 – 5.42 points.

Regarding the regime type, which in the index are full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime, Georgia is in the category of hybrid regime.

The Democracy Index 2019 reads that Eastern Europe’s average score in the Democracy Index remained unchanged at 5.42 compared with 2018. In this region, Ukraine and Armenia saw improvement and precede Georgia with scores of 5.90 and 5.54 respectively. Russia and Azerbaijan were ranked 22nd and 24th and they Georgia with 3.11 and 2.75 points. Turkey has 4.09 points and takes 110th place in the ranking, while Estonia remained the highest ranking country in Eastern Europe, with a score of 7.90 and a global ranking of 27th.

The index reads that no country moved category in 2019, meaning that there are still no “full democracies” in Eastern Europe. There are, however, 12 countries that are classed as “flawed democracies”, including all of the 11 EU member states plus Serbia; and nine that are classed as “hybrid regimes” including Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and the Kyrgyz Republic. The remainder are “authoritarian regimes”.

The report reads that the global score, 5.44 out of ten, is the lowest recorded since the index began in 2006, noting that only 22 countries, home to 430 million people, were deemed “full democracies” by the EIU.

“More than a third of the world’s population, meanwhile, still live under authoritarian rule,” the report says.

EIU’s Democracy Index is topped by Norway with a score of 9.87, followed by Iceland – 9.58, Sweden – 9.39, New Zealand – 9.26 and Finland with 9.25 points. The worst indicators were shown in the following countries: Chad – 1.61 points, followed by Syria at 1.43, the Central African Republic at 1.32, Democratic Republic of Congo at 1.13 and North Korea at 1.08 points.

By Tea Mariamidze

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23 January 2020 15:58