Europe

For decades Europe has maintained an exemplary level of respect for democratic standards and human rights, and has generally continued to do so in recent years despite serious economic turmoil. Nevertheless, many countries have developed problems related to their treatment of immigrants and minorities, and press freedom faces threats in a number of states. In addition, several countries in the Balkans are still consolidating their democratic institutions and will require further monitoring to ensure continued progress. Through its presence in Brussels, Freedom House works to address these issues and to increase Europe’s role in supporting the spread of democracy abroad.

Asterisks in the country list below indicate a territory rather than a country.

Countries & Territories: 44
620 million people
86% free
Press:
66% free

Percent computed by population. Population source data.

News & Updates

The Middle East and North Africa saw dramatic if precarious gains in press freedom in 2011, and for the first time in eight years, global media freedom did not experience an overall decline, according to a Freedom House report released today. However, due to downgrades in some previously free countries, the percentage of the world’s population living in societies with a fully free press has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade.

The number of journalists imprisoned in Turkey has nearly doubled, according to a new study published by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which noted that 95 journalists are in Turkish prisons today, up from 57 in 2011.  Freedom House welcomes the report and  joins the OSCE in calling on Turkey to reform its media laws, which include vague anti-terrorism provisions that have been used for years to imprison journalists for allegedly disseminating statements and propaganda from terrorist organizations.

Press freedom in Turkey continued to downslide this week with the decision of an Istanbul court to ban Turkish newspaper, Özgür Gündem, from publication for allegedly spreading “terrorist propaganda.” The paper’s Istanbul offices were raided on March 24 and authorities subsequently seized the Sunday edition of the paper and barred the newspaper from publication for one month.

Freedom House welcomes the release of four Turkish journalists on March 12, but cautions that Turkey must do more to address ongoing restrictions on freedom of expression. Ahmet Şık, Nedim Şener, Şait Çakır and Coşkun Musluk spent over a year in prison for their alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow the Turkish government – known as “Ergenekon.”

Pages

Experts

Senior Director for Research and Analysis

Sarah Repucci leads Freedom House’s flagship Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press publications.

Regions: 
Distinguished Fellow for Democracy Studies


Regions: 
Project Director, Vilnius office

Mr. Jurkonis is a project director at Freedom House and leads its Vilnius office. 

Issues: 
Regions: 
2.8 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
8.5 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
11 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
3.8 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
7.2 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.3 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.2 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
10 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
5.6 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.3 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
6
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
5.4 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
64 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
26
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
82 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
20
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
11 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
9.9 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
29
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
320 thousand people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
6
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
4.7 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
61 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
25
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
2.3 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
2 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
3.2 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
2.1 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
399 thousand people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
622 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
17 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
5 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
38 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
11 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
21 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
7.1 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
5.4 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
2.1 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
46 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
9.5 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
8 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
75 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
66
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
63 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
24
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
Scores Overview

Programs

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society. 

Freedom House administers several funds which offer emergency assistance to organizations and individuals around the world who are under threat because of their human rights work.