On 1 February 2023, The Economist Intelligence Unit published its annual report on democracy around the world. During 2022, Switzerland rose to 7th place, up from 10th in 2021.
The average global index score stagnated in 2022. Despite expectations of a rebound after the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, the score was almost unchanged, at 5.29 (on a 0-10 scale), compared with 5.28 in 2021. The positive effect of the restoration of individual freedoms was cancelled out by negative developments globally, said the report. The scores of more than half of the countries measured by the index either stagnated or declined. Western Europe was a positive outlier, being the only region whose score returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Between 2021 and 2022, Switzerland’s score rose from 8.90 to 9.14 – scores are a composite of five sub-scores. Switzerland scored highly on electoral process and pluralism (9.58), functioning of government (9.29), political culture (9.38) and civil liberties (9.12). Its weakest sub-score was for political participation (8.33). Switzerland’s 2022 score was its second highest since 2006 – in 2008 its score reached 9.15, its highest level ever.
In 2022, Switzerland was one of 24 full democracies, which covered 8% of the global population.
The Nordics (Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark) dominated the top tier of the Democracy Index rankings, taking five of the top six spots, with New Zealand claiming second place. Norway remained the top-ranked country in the Democracy Index, thanks to its high scores across all five categories of the index, especially electoral process and pluralism, political culture, and political participation. Countries in western Europe accounted for eight of the top ten places in the global democracy rankings and more than half (14) of the 24 nations classified as “full democracies”. Western Europe was also the best-performing region in 2022 in terms of the increase in its index score, which rebounded to pre-pandemic levels after the lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Economist article (in English)
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