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Belgium slips in ranking on rule of law

15:11 30/10/2023

Belgium has slipped two places in the World Justice Project’s report on the rule of law, making it one of the EU countries where the decline is the greatest.

The NGO ranked Belgium 16th out of 142 countries, two places lower than where it was in 2022, and 13th out of 31 countries in the Europe and North America region, a decline of one place.

The country’s overall score on rule of law fell by 0.96%, with a score of 0.78 compared with 0.79 last year, the second highest regression in the EU behind Greece, whose score fell by 1.36%.

Bulgaria showed the best improvement in the EU, with a score of 1.70%, followed by Slovenia, whose score rose by 1.60%.

The score is based on various criteria including constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, openness of government, fundamental rights, order and security, application of regulations, civil justice and criminal justice.

Belgium saw a decline in particular in the areas of civil justice, application of regulations and openness of government.

A 2023 report by the European Commission on the rule of law in Belgium pointed out that the country systematically fails to comply with legal decisions, does not analyse the effectiveness of its judicial system and has shortcomings in terms of transparency.

Scandinavian countries top the world ranking, while Venezuela, Cambodia and Afghanistan are bottom of the list.

Written by Helen Lyons