Tuesday, 13 January 2009

More than 50% of the population of the countries of Central, Eastern, South Eastern Europe, and in the Former Soviet Union is not free

Freedom House has released its 2009 Freedom in the World 2009 Survey, and the map of Central, Eastern, South Eastern Europe and Central Asia (attention: 1 MB pdf-document) looks clearly divided, although this is not a big surprise.

The most interesting cases are the "yellow" (partially free) states.

Interesting to see are also the four separatist regions in Europe (excluding Kosovo...): Nagorno-Karabakh (in Azerbaijan) and Abkhazia (in Georgia) are rated partially free, while Transnistria (in Moldova) and South Ossetia (in Georgia) are among the non-free states (or quasi-states, in their cases).

4 comments:

Steffen said...

Am also looking forward to that other annual survey from Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=16.

Every year I hope to see a country other than Italy languishing at the bottom of the table for Western Europe. Suspect it'll take a new government or indeed Berlusconi's retirement!

Antal Dániel said...

I am not surprised that Kosovo scores better than Transdnistria. The survey focuses on human and political rights. In Kosovo everbody has a vote, which is not the case in Transdnitria.

I think that this is a very valuable report and most people who criticize it would like to see more into it than it is actually.

Besides being very happy and proud for Central European countries, I find the case of the Baltic countries particularly important: the three state that got into NATO than EU are strong democracies and the rest of the former Soviet Union is sinking deep. The same can be said of former Yugoslav republics.

I think that EU and NATO still work very fine.

Julien Frisch said...

@ Daniel

The reference to Kosovo was not with regard to the democracy score, but I did not want to count it among the "separatist" regions, although some might do it.

So I am not surprised to see Transnistria behind Kosovo, it was rather interesting to see the different scores between the four (almost) non-recognised regions.

Andreas said...

Come on ... everyone who has followed these reports for the past decade or so know that the ratings change whenever a country becomes more pro-American.

In the case of Kosovo, it is considered more free because it is the more pro-American of the bunch.

Transdniestria and South Ossetia clearly both prefer Russia -- so to penalize them, they get a low score.

Abkhazia, on the other hand, has shown signs of wanting to toe a line in the middle. It is not clearly in the Russian camp. So it gets rewarded with a "partially free" rating. If they ask to join EU and NATO, they will be rated free.
NKR has the same rating as Abkhazia because it has the same ambivalence in its geopolitical orientation.

And to prove this point:
The rating for Georgia is a joke. It is the most unfree country in the region. But it takes money and weapons (and political guidance) from Washington. So it gets rated better than it really should, if reality was ever a guide here.

It is not about freedom here but about geopolitics.