Democracy in Portugal

Portugal has the 7th best democracy in the world

According to the Swedish Institute V-Dem, Portugal is the Southern European country with the best democratic indicators.

The V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy Institute, which “measures hundreds of different attributes of democracy”, has the largest global database with millions of data from 202 countries from 1789 to 2019. They consult 3 thousand specialists from several parts of the world to deconstruct regimes and categorize them.

Portugal rose 3 places in the ranking in the past 3 years and stays only behind Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Belgium. This happens just when Portugal celebrates 46 years from the end of Estado Novo, the period that immersed the country into four decades of dictatorship. Portugal emerges now as the example of a country that developed positively in the last decades in democratic fields.

This comes in a time when democracies across the world are being put to test under the state of emergency challenges. The way countries are dealing with the new normality and respecting individual liberties and rights are a strong indicator of democracy or lack of it.

In Portugal, the state of emergency has been a consensus between the President, the Government and the political parties, but also with the civil society, according to Tiago Fernandes, coordinator of the V-Dem report for Portugal and Southern Europe. He reinforces that the Government and the President have been meeting with bankers, the Catholic Church and other institutions, which demonstrates an effort to reach a collective understanding between the political forces and the society.

Also, during the Covid-19 crisis, Portugal was the only European country that proceeded to the extraordinary regularization of immigrants, to guarantee they had access to social protection. That’s why recent news about the ranking results also compliment the way that the country and its dirigents is dealing with this public health crisis.

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