Democracy Index: Czechia rises in ranking, but is still a 'flawed democracy'

The annual Democracy Index saw most countries in the EU improve, while Russia sank sharply.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 06.02.2023 10:47:00 (updated on 06.02.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Czechia rose four spots in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index but still fell short of being ranked as a full democracy. The country came in 25th out of 167 ranked countries and had the best score in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The Economist Intelligence Unit divides countries into four groups: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes, and authoritarian regimes. Czechia and Greece both scored 7.97 out of 10, qualifying for flawed democracy. A score of 8 or higher is needed for full democracy.

In the previous ranking, Czechia scored 7.74. Czechia, though, did qualify as a full democracy from 2006, when the index was first published, until 2013. Currently, no state in Central and Eastern Europe qualifies as a full democracy.

Most EU states improved

The index said that nearly all of the region’s EU member states except for Bulgaria and Croatia registered improvements in their scores in 2022. Poland, Czechia, and Slovenia had the biggest improvements.

In the CEE region, Estonia and Slovenia also came close to being full democracies. “The region continues to struggle with core weaknesses in institutions and political culture,” the index stated.

Russia falls close to bottom of list

Russia posted the most dramatic drop in scores of any country in the world. Russia fell from 124th to 146th, close to the bottom of the global rankings. Belarus also suffered a sharp fall.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was accompanied by all-out repression and censorship at home. “Russia has been on a trajectory away from democracy for a long time and is now acquiring many of the features of a dictatorship,” the index stated.

Norway topped the list, with 9.81 points, followed by New Zealand, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. The lowest-ranked country was Afghanistan, with 0.32 points, followed by Myanmar, North Korea, the Central African Republic, and Syria. Just 45.3 percent of the world's population lives in a democracy overall, according to the index.  

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