Slovenia experienced the worst democratic decline in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2021, says the report – POLITICO

according to a democratic standards in Slovenia have fallen more than in any other country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2021 new report from the research institute Freedom House.

The Nations in Transit report, which ranks the democratic standards of 29 out of 7 countries based on factors such as the electoral process, media independence and corruption, found that Slovenia had fallen from a 5.86 to 5.71 in the past year.

“No country has scored more points than Slovenia,” says the report, which blames Prime Minister Janez Janša’s government for the decline after it “sidelined parliament and put significant political and financial pressure on civil society organizations, exercised public media services and the judiciary, and the European Public Prosecutor.”

Janša, who is running for re-election on Sunday in an increasingly tight race, has been accused of waging war on independent media in Slovenia after withholding funding from the country’s public broadcaster for most of 2021 because he had criticized his leadership and pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy. (Due to political pressure, he has since restored much of the funding.) He also earned it the nickname “Marshall Tweeto” is a reference to the former leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, according to disposal and berating critical journalists on social media.

“Slovenia’s declines in points were partly due to a failure to uphold the liberal democratic norms and practices we would expect from a high performer,” said Mike Smeltzer, research analyst at Freedom House and co-author of the report, “but also the actions of Prime Minister Janez Janša … who, as we say, betrayed “an illiberal intolerance to any criticism.”

However, the central European nation is “still one of the best performers” of the countries considered, he said, and remains a “consolidated democracy” – adhering to the “best policies and practices of liberal democracies” – alongside Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic . Poland, Romania and Bulgaria fared less well, showing signs of “weaknesses in defending political rights and civil liberties”.

Democracy has been in decline for 18 consecutive years in the 29 countries surveyed, the report says, and 2021 was also the first year in which hybrid regimes — combining authoritarian rule with minimally competitive elections, including Hungary — became the most common regime type in those countries became regions.

Russia’s war in Ukraine also does not bode well for European democracy in the long term.

“After 18 years of democratic decline… and as the Kremlin continues its brutal war of aggression, it’s hard to conjure up any sense of hope,” Smeltzer said.

“Even if Putin fails in his bid to destroy Ukraine, there is a very real chance that this war will accelerate the anti-democratic shifts we have documented as economic challenges and an influx of refugees challenge the capabilities of governments and societies will have already spent the past two years responding to a global pandemic.”

The Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment from POLITICO. Slovenia experienced the worst democratic decline in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2021, says the report – POLITICO

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