The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, released the 13th edition of its Democracy Index report, which gives an overview of the state of democracy around the world. The report covers 167 countries and territories and is based on five categories all of which carry an equal weight in the general index: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties.
Luxembourg is in 13th position in the general ranking (with an average score of 8.68 out of 10) and is therefore one of the 23 countries which are qualified as full democracy. The standings are led by Norway (9.81) ahead of Iceland (9.37) and Sweden (9.26). The Netherlands are 9th (8.96), Germany 14th (8.67), France 24th (7.99) and Belgium 36th (7.51).
In the current edition of the report, the authors note a general deterioration in scores. In 2020, the average Democracy Index score declined in every region of the world. This development, which is also observed for Luxembourg, is mainly explained by the measures taken by the public authorities to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In many countries, including the developed Western democracies, the temporary use of exceptional emergency or crisis legislation procedures has given governments extraordinary regulatory powers and at times limited the means of parliamentary control. In the Democracy Index these measures have lowered the scores in the “functioning of government” and "civil liberties" categories, the latter mostly regarding the temporary restrictions on gatherings, travel, or the exercise of economic activity. It should be noted, however, that for the calculation of the Democracy Index, the authors only note the existence of such measures, without assessing if such measures were justified.