Measuring Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: Do Scores Matter?
- Zselyke Csáky, Research Director, Europe & Eurasia, Freedom House
- Sabine Donner, Senior Expert, Bertelsmann Transformation Index
- Juraj Medzihorsky, Research Associate, V-Dem
- Daniel Hegedüs, Fellow for Central Europe, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Global democracy has been in decline for fifteen years, with Central and Eastern European countries leading the trend of autocratization in the Western world. However, while main democracy monitoring projects offer a uniform view on the decline of democracy and rising trends of authoritarianism in the region, including in EU and NATO member states, their warnings remain a cry in the wilderness. With domestic threats to democracy remaining largely disregarded, the debate revolving around the rule of law in the EU disguises the true nature of authoritarian trends, helping to maintain the legitimacy of non-democratic or barely democratic governments.
Why are the results of different efforts to measure democracy falling on deaf ears and remaining largely disregarded at the political level? When and why did measuring democracy largely lose its political and policy relevance, and how could this be re-established? And what are the major democratic and authoritarian trends and lessons learned in Central and Eastern Europe that European politicians and stakeholders should not ignore?
The German Marshall Fund of the United States is pleased to invite you to an online event and discussion that examines these and other questions related to the challenges and results of measuring democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.