Europe & Eurasia
The 2013 MSI study for Europe & Eurasia found a mix of positive and negative developments in almost every country. As last year, overall significant improvement, defined as 0.10 points or more, was observed in six countries, while significant regression was observed in five. Eleven of 21 countries showed little overall average change from 2012.
Competitive politics correlated with significant regression in Bulgaria, Romania, and Kyrgyzstan, where overtly biased reporting, opaque ownership, and economic crises worsened by political gridlock led to declines in professionalism, plurality, and business sustainability. Notably, Kazakhstan’s farcical parliamentary election corresponded with an improvement in its MSI score, though not due to improved free expression or plurality of sources, but on economic gains. Russia’s score collapsed by 12 percent, falling in every objective, putting it at the bottom of the pack of unsustainable mixed media systems and in danger of joining Belarus at the cusp of the anti-free press category. Political and economic crises within the EU spread to member states Bulgaria and Romania, contributing to their decreased scores. Turkmenistan improved modestly on pay raises for state employees, but its fantasy new media law and first technically non-state media outlet did not impress the MSI research team.
In the CEE/Eurasia region, 7 countries (24 percent) remained classified as Free, 13 (45 percent) were rated Partly Free, and 9 (31 percent) were rated Not Free. However, a majority of the people in this region (56 percent) lived in Not Free media environments, while 29 percent lived in Partly Free countries and only 15 percent had access to Free media—the smallest share in a decade. The regional average score underwent a
modest decline, led by negative movement in the economic category. The average for the Eurasia subregion remained the worst in the world, at 75; meanwhile, deterioration in the typically better-performing subregion of Central and Eastern Europe continued in 2012, again especially in the economic category.
Reporters Without Borders
The status quo was maintained in many of the countries in the European Union. Sixteen were listed among the top 30. At first sight, this was encouraging, but it concealed the slow erosion of the European model as a result of inconsistencies and worrying developments among the other 11 countries, some of which fell below 80th place.
Albania | Armenia | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Bosnia & Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Czech Republic | Estonia | Georgia | Hungary | Kazakhstan | Kosovo | Kyrgyzstan | Latvia | Lithuania | Macedonia | Moldova | Montenegro | Poland | Romania | Russia | Serbia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Ukraine | Uzbekistan