Recently, the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) has published a report exploring the trends underlying the past 13-year decline in democracy and freedom around the world, as well as discussing challenges and commonly-held assumptions. 

The report highlights 10 trends that have characterised the recent decline in democracy. These show the differences in various aspects of democracy then and now. For instance, while a decade and a half ago “catch-all” political parties (no clear ideology or affiliation to attract cross-sectoral support) used to be the case, nowadays things are more complex amid the rise of “polariser challenger parties” that have created new power-sharing arrangements with mainstream parties.

The report also puts democratic decline and trends in context by discussing how major global issues -such as globalisation, growing protectionism and nationalism and social media- are affecting democracy, creating new challenges as well as opportunities. For instance, while social media has made it easier to organise mass protests movements, it has also made it enabled actors to manipulate information, utilise user data for surveillance purposes or spread fake news.

The information included in the report is visually compelling and organised in an intuitive and user-friendly way. We hope this will encourage different stakeholders and civil society actors to take interest in the issue and reflect how the evolving nature of democracy and freedom has impacted their work. Chiefly, amid a more volatile and uncertain political scenario in Europe, it is certain that Eurodiaconia and its membership will continue to strive for a more Social and Equal Europe, as often it is the poor and marginalised that are more vulnerable to economic and political shocks.



If you would like to read the full report, please access the European Commission’s publication.

If you would like to know more about our work across Europe, please visit our website.