Lithuania offers more civil, political freedoms than Latvia, fewer than Poland, Estonia

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

In the 2015 index published by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House, Lithuania scored 91 points on a 100-point scale, with the result unchanged from the year before.

The index puts Lithuania ahead of fellow Baltic State Latvia with 86 points, Belarus with 17 and Russia with 22, however, behind Estonia (94) and Poland (93).

Vytis Jurkonis, political scientist at the Vilnius University‘s International Relations and Political Science Institute and Freedom House representative, said that the Lithuanian rating was also a result of the corruption level, the effect of the information war upon Lithuania’s media and the national minority situation.

“The overall situation in Lithuania is rather good, it fits the standards of a democratic country. The country’s civil and political liberties are protected, and there have been no major changes for the better or for the worse in the area,” Jurkonis told BNS.

Globally, the report authors said “in a year marked by an explosion of terrorist violence, autocrats’ use of more brutal tactics, and Russia’s invasion and annexation of a neighbouring country’s territory, the state of freedom in 2014 worsened significantly in nearly every part of the world.”

“Indeed, acceptance of democracy as the world’s dominant form of government—and of an international system built on democratic ideals—is under greater threat than at any point in the last 25 years,” said Arch Puddington, vice president for research at Freedom House.

The report cites Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a rollback of democratic gains by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intensified campaign against press freedom and civil society, and further centralization of authority in China as evidence of a growing disdain for democratic standards that was found in nearly all regions of the world.

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