The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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Malta remains a ‘flawed democracy’, gets lower score in 2020 – Economist report

Kevin Schembri Orland Friday, 5 February 2021, 13:22 Last update: about 4 years ago

Malta has remained a ‘flawed democracy’, according to the 2020 Democracy Index drawn up by The Economist, having an even lower score than last year.

The yearly index is drawn up by The Economist Intelligence Unit, which is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world’s states (microstates are excluded). The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: ‘full democracy’, ‘flawed democracy’, ‘hybrid regime’ or ‘authoritarian regime’.


Malta falls under the ‘flawed democracy’ category, along with 52 other countries including the United States of America, France, Italy and Greece.

 Up until 2018, Malta was considered to be a ‘full democracy’, but dropped down from a score of 8.21 in 2018, to a score of 7.95 in 2019, thus making it a ‘flawed democracy.”

The country’s score this year is even lower. Malta’s overall score stands at 7.68. In the Electoral process and pluralism category it scored a 9.17, in the Functioning of government category it scored a 6.79, in the Political participation category it scored a 6.11, in the Political culture category it scored 8.13 and in the Civil liberties category it scored 8.24. Malta’s overall score dropped from 2019, where it stood at 7.95

“In the 2020 Democracy Index, 75 of the 167 countries and territories covered by the model, or 44.9% of the total, are considered to be democracies. The number of ‘full democracies’ increased to 23 in 2020, up from 22 in 2019. The number of ‘flawed democracies’ fell by two, to 52. Of the remaining 92 countries in our index, 57 are ‘authoritarian regimes’, up from 54 in 2019, and 35 are classified as ‘hybrid regimes’, down from 37 in 2019,” the report reads.

The new comes after Malta hit a new all-time low in another international report: Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.  Malta placed 52nd out of 180 countries in that ranking and was labelled as one of the ‘countries to watch’ (and not in a good way) in the report.

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