From: Alice Taylor
Rule of Law, Media Freedom, Political Autonomy Decreasing in Albania

Albania is the 11th free country in Eastern Europe, and the 43rd most free globally, according to the Fraser Institute Human Freedom Index 2020.

It scored a total of 7.81 points out of 10, noting a slight increase from last year’s position

Overall, Albania is considered a very secure and safe country with low rates of homicide and disappearances, little terrorism, and a relatively high level of safety for women. It scored over 8.8/10 in all criteria related to citizens safety. 

Full marks were also awarded for freedom of domestic and foreign movement and high scores were noted for political freedom, civil society right, freedom to assemble, and freedom to be in opposition.

Albania also performed well in the freedom to trade internationally, freedom to own foreign currency, inflation levels, money growth, access to internet, cable, and satellite, and the lack of state control over internet access.

High scores in these sectors helped to increase the overall score, making up for a poor performance in other areas.

Albania got 5/10 for press freedom and 0 for its recognition of legal genders other than male or female.

It scored low in rule of law, particularly in criminal justice and civil justice, both of which got less than 5/10. Judicial independence was 3.6, impartial courts were 3.7, and the legal enforcement of contracts was 3.9. The reliability of police just scraped over half points, as did the integrity of the legal system, and the protection of property rights.

Looking at historical results, the rule of law has decreased since 2016 as has media freedom, criminal justice, and political autonomy and freedoms.

In Eastern Europe, Albania was ahead of its immediate neighbours including North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Greece, but was outperformed by Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia.

Globally, New Zealand and Switzerland took the top spot followed by Denmark, Australia, Canada and Ireland. Bottom of the list was Syria, Sudan, Venezuela and Yemen.