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Monitoring group downgrades Hungary, Serbia from ‘free’ to ‘partially free,’ while Uzbekistan marks a modest improvement.6 February 2019
Alongside already authoritarian states who have now removed the disguise of democratic practices, countries that had progressed dramatically after the end of the Cold War, including long-standing democracies, have backtracked on reforms.
The report observes the effective use of open political space by anti-liberal, populist movements of the far right to emphasize national sovereignty to a level that damages democracies both internally by ignoring core civil and political rights, and externally by “weakening the cause of democracy around the world with their unilateralist reflexes.”
Some notable changes in the post-communist region include:
The exploitation of power by the elites in the Eurasian countries has continued, while antidemocratic leaders in Central Europe and the Balkans have undermined the authority of their respective constitutions and the rights they safeguard. Some examples from the report:
Nonetheless, Armenia’s so-called Velvet Revolution and the Uzbekistan government’s release of political prisoners and eased restrictions on NGOs provide a sliver of hope for democracy in the region, says Freedom House. The same can be said for the continuous efforts to build upon dynamic civic movements, active in the past, for justice and inclusion in countries where democratic institutions are under attack.
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Transitions magazine = Your one-stop source for news, research and analysis on the post-communist region.
Sign up for the free TOL newsletter!
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
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