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Note: The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest. The 2013 ratings reflect the period January 1 through December 31, 2012. Nations in Transit is Freedom House’s comprehensive, comparative study of democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia. Nations in Transit 2013 suggest that the countries that have achieved the greatest democratic success since the Cold War’s end are now displaying serious vulnerabilities in their young democratic systems. Over the past five years, stagnation and backsliding is evident in key governance indicators across the new EU member states and countries of the Balkans. Hungary, a powerful example of this trend, continued on a negative trajectory that was propelled by the current government’s drive to concentrate power. Ukraine’s scores similarly continued to worsen, with declines in five of the seven Nations in Transit categories, as authorities undertook a broad assault on institutional accountability and transparency. Difficult economic conditions and harsh austerity measures posed challenges to democratic development in the region. In the Balkans, critical reforms stalled in nearly all countries in 2012.
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