MADRID: Spain falls significantly within the Democracy Index. Since Spain’s first coalition government took office, the country has dropped six places when it comes to democratic freedoms. The fight against the corona pandemic seems to be a determining factor for many countries. 70% of countries score lower than Spain.
Every year, the prestigious British magazineThe Economist publishes the Democracy Index, which provides insight into countries’ democratic freedoms. The Democracy Index 2021 was published on Wednesday, showing Spain’s ranking deteriorating considerably.
What is the Democracy Index?
The index is a ranking of countries compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, part of The Economist Group. The list represents the democratic content of almost all countries in the world. The ranking goes up from 1 (great democratic freedom) to above 150 (heavily oppressive dictatorships).
Scandinavian countries often lead the ranking with countries such as North Korea – considered least democratic – with the lowest rankings.
Spain drops six places in the Democracy Index
In January 2020, when Spain’s first coalition government took office, Spain was 16th with a score of 8.29 out of 10. A year later, the British magazine gives Spain 8.12 points and the country drops to 22nd place in the ranking.
The research team behind the index emphasises that the corona pandemic has dealt a blow to many democratic countries in the world. Nearly 70% of the countries included in the index have scored lower on democratic freedoms than a year ago, all as a result of Covid-19 management and restrictions. The annual index’s average is 5.37 out of 10; the lowest score since the index was first published in 2006.
Spain still fully fledged democracy
Despite the fact Spain has fallen significantly within the index, the country is still seen as a fully-fledged democracy. Assessment covers different areas. For example, Spain scores 9.58 for ‘electoral processes and pluralism’, 8.53 for ‘civil liberties’, 8.13 for’ political culture ‘, 7.22 for’ political participation ‘and 7.14 for’ functioning of government’.
In this edition of the Democracy Index, Norway, Iceland and Sweden occupy the first three places on the index. Costa Rica (18th), Mauritius (20th) and Japan (21st) are ahead of Spain. Just below Spain are South Korea (23rd) and other “imperfect democracies” such as France (24th), Portugal (26th) and Italy (29th).