IVO BAROMETER: The quality of democracy in the first quarter of 2014 has worsened to 3.2

Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) released the assessment of development of the quality of democracy in Slovakia for the first quarter 2014.

Analysts of the Institute for Public Affairs in cooperation with external experts in the framework of the project IVO Barometer evaluated the quality of democracy in Slovakia for 2014 (based on evaluation of the first quarter) by the average mark 3.2. In terms of full-year comparison it indicates significant regress of quality of democracy rating – up to 0.3 point. Compared with the previous quarter, when the negative trends from the second half of 2013 have already influenced the evaluation of  IVO Barometer, decrease is less dramatic – the quarterly rate compared to the previous period deteriorated only by 0.1 point.

The largest regress was observed in the area of legislation, where the negative trends escalated at the end of 2013, as well as in the area of protection of  the human and minority rights. In both areas the annual evaluation has deteriorated by 0.4 point. In the remaining two assessed areas – democratic institutions and rule of law and independent and public service media – the positive and negative trends were mutually balanced, therefore the total score remained unchanged from the previous year.


IVO Barometer 1. štvrťrok 2014 - Hlavné zistenia [pdf - in Slovak]
IVO Barometer 1. štvrťrok 2014 - Tlačová správa [pdf - in Slovak]
IVO Barometer 1. štvrťrok 2014 - Barometer - Newsletter [pdf - in Slovak]
Prezentácia výskumu: Prezidentské_voľby očami verejnosti [pdf - in Slovak]


Press conference. From the left: Miroslav Kollár, Kálmán Petőcz, Grigorij Mesežnikov, Zora Bútorová a Oľga Gyárfášová.


The principal objective of the IVO Barometer, an analytical project by the Institute for Public Affairs, is to provide a foundation of basic knowledge about the actual state of affairs and development trends in the field of quality of democracy, and to put together an operative team of experts and regularly publish their assessments. 

The backbone of the project is the regular evaluation of the quality of democracy in Slovakia after it became a full-fledged member of the European Union. The project’s methodology is based on systematic monitoring and analysis of the main development trends in five key areas: democratic institutions and the rule of law; legislation; projection and implementation of human and minority rights; performance of independent and public service media; and civil society. 

IVO Barometer in 2013 – 2014 is elaborated within a project
Opening Slovakia.

The Rating

The evolution of overall rating according to IVO Barometer
in years 2008 - 2014 (quarterly assessments)


Media coverage:

The Slovak Spectator


21 Apr 2014, by Michaela Terenzani with press reports

THE QUALITY of democracy in Slovakia has deteriorated, according to the results of the IVO Barometer that evaluates the quality of democracy in several areas.

In the first quarter of 2014, Slovakia’s democracy received a grade of 3.2. In the year-on-year comparison, the index of the quality of democracy dropped by 0.3 percentage points, while in the quarterly comparison it dropped 0.1 percentage point. This stems from the evaluation of the analysts of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), a non-governmental think tank.

The potential marks in the barometer range from 1 to 5, with 1 representing the optimal state of democracy based on standards and comparative criteria in other EU and Council of Europe member states. The IVO Barometer evaluates four areas of democracy: democratic institutions and a lawful state (giving Slovakia a grade of 3.5 in the first quarter of 2014); legislation (a grade of 2.75); respect for and protection of human and minority rights (a grade of 3.5); and media freedom and the quality of public-service media (a grade of 3.0).

The biggest drop was recorded in the area of legislation, which saw a culmination of unfavourable tendencies in the legislative process from the end of 2013. The area was evaluated with a score of 2.8, a 0.4-point decline. In the area of legislation, the most significant initiative of not only this quarter but also the whole term of the Robert Fico government so far, is the draft constitutional amendment introducing judiciary reform and a traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

“This amendment is an example of using a legislative proposal with the aim of gaining concrete political benefits,” IVO president Grigorij Mesežnikov said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The same decline was recorded in the area of minorities and human rights protection, which was graded at 3.5.

The remaining two areas, democratic institutions and the rule of law, and independent media and public-service media, received the same grade as the previous quarter.

The evaluation of democratic institutions and the rule of law, given a grade of 3.5, stems from the overall result of the long-term trends in the ruling party’s approach to power.

“Representatives of the ruling Smer party put stress on the effectiveness of government, that is on their own ability to promote political solutions in line with the set political and programme priorities, dealing less or not at all with the importance of such aspects of ruling, like openness, inclusion, power distribution, balance and control,” the IVO Barometer report reads, as quoted by TASR.

This area was also significantly impacted by the atmosphere in society and the political scene ahead of the presidential election.

“Even though the 2014 presidential election fulfilled the criteria of free and pluralistic elections, the election campaign provoked doubts about whether the election was also just and honest,” Grigorij Mesežnikov said, as quoted by TASR.

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