Freedom House: Democracy improves in Georgia

Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 12 Apr 2016 - 16:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia has registered improvements in the level of democracy in Eurasia in 2015, says independent watchdog Freedom House.

In a report released today, Washington-based Freedom House assessed 29 countries across Central Europe and Eurasia and said weighted for population, the average Democracy Score of the 29 formerly Communist countries surveyed had declined every year since 2004—12 years in a row, including 2015.

Meanwhile Georgia’s overall democracy score was 4.61 and was classified as "Transitional Government” or "Hybrid Regime”. In last year’s report the country’s democracy score was 4.64, which meant Georgia has improved its score by 0.03 in the past 12 months.

"Judicial Framework and Independence rating improved from 5.00 to 4.75 due to evidence of sustained structural improvements and increased judicial independence compared to previous years,” the Georgian part of the report said.
"As a result, Georgia’s Democracy Score improved from 4.64 to 4.61.”

Democracy scores and regime ratings were based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest.

The report contained a detailed analysis of the political and social developments in Georgia during the past year. It said "despite the politicisation of high-profile cases, the judiciary has improved at the day-to-day level, offering a positive sign that even in a polarised system, structural reform may still have momentum.”

The document also suggested Georgia's Parliamentary Elections in October 2016 would be a "major test” of the durability of this trend.

Click here to see Georgia’s full profile.

The 2016 ratings reflected the period of January 1 to December 31, 2015.

  • The report revealed the migration crisis and wrenching economic problems were threatening both the survival of the European Union and the stability of Eurasia’s entrenched dictatorships.
  • In Central Europe and the Balkans, illiberal leaders and strongmen challenged fundamental principles of democracy.
  • In the Eurasian half of the Nations in Transit report region, the collapse of oil prices created an economic crisis exacerbated by a lack of transparency and accountability.
  • The largest score decline was Macedonia’s, where scores dropped in six of the seven different categories that Nations in Transit measures. The second-largest decline was in Tajikistan.

Of the 29 countries assessed for 2015, seven were rated as consolidated democracies, six as Semi-Consolidated Democracies, six as transitional or hybrid regimes, three as semi-consolidated authoritarian regimes and seven as consolidated authoritarian regimes.