Freedom House “Nations in Transit 2013” report on Belarus released

Freedom House “Nations in Transit 2013” report on Belarus released

The Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies contributed to the Freedom House Nations in Transit project for the fifth year in a row. This year the report on Belarus was co-authored by  the  BISS analysts Elena Artsiomenka,  Aliaksandr Autushka-Sikorski,  Siarhei Bohdan,  Dzianis Melyantsou,  Alexei Pikulik, and  Andrei Yeliseyeu.

The 2013 edition covers events from January 1 through December 31, 2012. The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest. According to the 2013 report, Belarus hit a low point since the start of the Nations in Transit  project in 2003, with the average score of 6.71, which is 0.03 points down over the last year. Average democracy score deteriorated due to the drop in Civil Society rating from 6.25 points in 2012 to 6.50 in 2013.

Interestingly, Belarus's progress and setbacks in democratisation were assessed at 6.71 points earlier, back to 2006 and 2008. Overall, Belarus falls into the category of consolidated authoritarian regime, according to classification of Freedom House.

The BISS suggested that the government would face increasing internal pressure to follow through on its economic promises: “As an insurance policy, Lukashenka may attempt to restore relations with the West by introducing half-hearted liberalization and democratization efforts, as he has in the past”.

Nations in Transit is Freedom House's comprehensive, comparative study of democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia.  This is an independent assessment with a methodology rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report covers seven categories: electoral process; civil society; independent media; national democratic governance; local democratic governance; judicial framework and independence; and corruption. Furthermore, Freedom House introduced separate analysis and ratings for national democratic governance and local democratic governance, to provide readers with more detailed and nuanced analysis of these two important subjects.