Would it be difficult to measure the EU by the Democracy Index, seeing as the EU has a parliament, elections, laws, a currency, a supreme court and a central bank?

What challenges are there for the measures of democracy of the EU's for Electoral process and pluralism, Functioning of government, Political-participation, Political culture, Civil liberties? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

The index is composed of 60 questions (page 9), can't the word "nation" be replaced with "Union"/"EU" and the questions answered by experts? If the EU has judiciary and a legislative branch, and all the hallmarks of a nation then the questions can be phrased to apply, i.e.:

  1. Are elections for the EU legislature and head of the EU fair? 1: No major irregularities in the voting process 0.5: Significant irregularities occur (intimidation, fraud), but do not affect significantly the overall outcome 0: Major irregularities occur and affect the outcome

1 Answer 1


The challenge would be the very fractured political culture and legal and political system. There is a supreme court, but various national supreme courts reserve some powers (even if exercising them would fracture the EU). There is no unified election system for the parliament.

  • The political culture of all the member states is known, and the MEP's and regional treaties and voting systems are known. I still don't understand why those elements cannot be quantified by the measures of the index. The Index seems like a good way of measuring unclear and fractured bureaucracy, it implies that there could be more information on and accountability of election system. The courts aren't more difficult to measure than american state and federal judiciary. Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 0:48
  • Mostly the questions are of the nature: 11. Is potential access to public office open to all citizens? 1: Yes 0.5: Formally unrestricted, but in practice restricted for some groups, or for citizens from some parts of the country 0: No .... The questions of the index can be found here: economist.com/media/pdf/DEMOCRACY_INDEX_2007_v3.pdf Just replace the words "the nation" with "The EU" and the questions can be answered by experts and by the population. Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 1:06
  • @com.prehensible, take 21, 22, 23. The answers could differ from country to country. 10. Also country-specific. 17. Extremely interesting for the smaller ones.And so on. And for the EU as a whole, the fairness of elections is also questionable. I understand that fair elections should be equal, not with different rules for different parts of the electorate.
    – o.m.
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 6:01
  • @O.m. don't places like the US have different rules for different parts of the electorate? How presidential electors are assigned being the most obvious.
    – Jontia
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 6:12
  • @Jontia, a rule which says "two electors per state, plus more depending on population" is the same for the entire US. It would be more problematical if states beginning with 'A' got extra electors.
    – o.m.
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 6:14

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