Report. Portugal has a democratic deficit in civic participation
The most recent report on the Global State of Democracies, for the year 2021, by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), which will be presented today at a public event, shows that, as with many European democracies , Portugal was not immune to the climate of control of democratic health parameters.
The document by this Stockholm-based institute — which analyzes the democratic performance of 173 countries since 1975 and seeks to provide a diagnosis of the state of democracies around the world — reveals that almost half of European democracies, out of a total of 17 countries evaluated , observed regressions in the last five years.
In the 2020 report, Portugal had been the only country in the world to fall in three parameters of democratic health simultaneously, but in 2021, the country maintains the values in all indices, preserving its status as a country in full democracy and with high values of democracy.
The better performance of democracy in Portugal is revealed in the parameters of the Government’s representativeness (which measures the electoral legislation and where the country is in the first places at the top of the world ranking), in the defense of fundamental rights and in the scrutiny of Organs executive bodies , where ten values are above the European average.
Portugal even has a slight increase in the parameter of application of Justice, where it had seen a drop, and maintains high levels of civic freedom, social rights and equality.
The weakest point in the health of Portuguese democracy is found in the parameter of “direct democracy”, which measures the degree of openness of the regime to the participation of citizens’ positions in political decision-making, namely through referendums or popular consultations, where Portugal appears far behind other European countries.
Portugal still reveals some deficit in the participation of civil society, in the impartiality of the public administration and in the levels of corruption, with satisfactory values below the European average, which has been suffering a regression in recent years.
Overall, the report shows that the world is becoming more authoritarian and democratic democracies are backsliding, resorting to repressive practices and weakening the rule of law.
“In Europe, the values of democracy have been in stagnation for several years, even having some signs of entry that may be worrying”, IDEA secretary general Kevin Casas-Zamora told Lusa, recalling that, despite All in all, this is a continent with good rates of democratic values when compared to Asia, Africa or Latin America.