Washington-based Freedom House think tank warned on Wednesday of rising antidemocratic tendencies in Hungary and Ukraine that have the potential to take root elsewhere in the region.
“Negative developments in Hungary and Ukraine are at the forefront of an antidemocratic trend in Central and Eastern Europe that raises serious questions about the durability of the European Union’s young democracies,” Freedom House said in the Nations in Transit 2012 report.
According to the report, Ukraine, which saw a brief democratic opening after the Orange Revolution in 2004, “has suffered significant decline in an alarmingly short period of time.”
“Under the Yanukovych government, Ukraine’s Nations in Transit ratings worsened in five categories year on year, with a steep decline in judicial framework and independence and an overall democracy score that is rapidly approaching its pre–Orange Revolution level,” the report said.
Freedom House warned that the negative trend in Ukraine, along with a steep decline of the overall democracy score in a number of EU aspirants in the Balkans, may jeopardize “the prospects for widening the circle of democratic states in Europe.”
The details of the report will be released later on Wednesday at the Legatum Institute in London, and on June 7 in Brussels in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.