Nations in Transit 2016

Europe and Eurasia ended 2015 mired in institutional and economic crises that threatened both the survival of the European Union and the stability of Eurasia’s entrenched dictatorships.

While illiberal nationalism rose in Europe, with Central European leaders closing borders and denouncing refugees as a threat to the nation, financial pressures brought about by falling oil prices and worker remittances undermined the economies of Russia and most former Soviet states. The risk is that these separate developments could converge, with the collapse of Eurasian states adding to Europe’s growing list of troubles.

Nations in Transit 2016 measures progress and setbacks for democratization in 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia.

Key findings:

  1. The migration crisis and wrenching economic problems are threatening both the survival of the European Union and the stability of Euroasia’s etrenched dictatorship.
  2. Weighted for population, the average Democracy Score of the 29 formerly Communist countries surveyed by Nations in Transit has declined every year since 2004-12 years in a row, including 2015.
  3. In central Europe and the Balkans, illiberal leaders and strongmen challenged fundamental principles of democracy.
  4. In the Euroasian half of te Nations in Transit report region, the collapse of oil prices created an economic crisis exacerbated by a lack of transparency and accountability.
  5. 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.

Freedom House 2016