Freedom House Report “Nations in Transit” 2017 – Poland’s democracy score declines
The report "Nations in Transit", published yearly by Freedom House, analyses key factors of democratic rule in post-communist countries in Europe and Central Asia. The report's 2017 edition shows a clear decline of democracy in Poland. The country was doing worse in the fields of National Democratic Governance, Judicial Framework and Independence, Independent Media, Civil Society and Local Democratic Governance
- Freedom House is an independent watchdog organisation dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world;
- The report “Nations in Transit” 2017 edition was published in February 2017. It covers the year 2016;
- The authors of the Report argue that the year 2016 showed for Poland a significant decline in democracy: from 2.32 to 2.57 points on a 1-7 scale, 1 being the perfect score;
- The key factors analysed and score changes were as follows:
National Democratic Governance rating declined from 2.75 to 3.25 due to Poland’s descent into total political polarization and lack of consensual decision-making, as well as passing laws without adequate consultation with civil society or the parliament and informal control over political processes.
Civil Society rating declined from 1.50 to 1.75 due to smear campaigns against nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the public media and the worrying trend of far-right groups gaining tacit or, in some cases, explicit support from the government.
Independent Media rating declined from 2.75 to 3.00 due to the transformation of public media into a government propaganda machine, with further concerns about manipulation of the advertising market influencing private media.
Local Democratic Governance rating declined from 1.50 to 1.75 due to increasing centralization of school oversight and the paralysis of the Joint Central and Local Government Commission.
Judicial Framework and Independence rating declined from 2.75 to 3.25 due to the far-reaching reform of the Constitutional Tribunal that curbed its ability to function as an effective oversight body, thereby threatening rule of law in Poland.
Full report can be found here: PDF.
Please read the executive summary on Freedom House’s website.