The Most Effective Governments of Europe

Which are the most well-functioning and most effective governments in Europe?


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Map of the effectiveness of European governments.

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The Worldwide Governance Indicators Project reports annually on 6 key governance indicators based on views of a large number of enterprise, citizen and expert survey respondents. One of those indicators is the government effectiveness. The government effectiveness is based on the perceptions of the quality of public services, the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility of the government’s commitment to such policies.

This map looks at how effective governments and their governance in Europe are. Governance is defined as the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.

The most effective governments in Europe are Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries. These are also one of the most effective in the world. 7 European countries make it into the global top 10. Singapore is the number one, followed by Switzerland. The global number 2 to 11 are all European countries (Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Sweden and Austria).

We can still see an east-west divide in Europe. However, the Baltic countries, Slovenia and the Czech Republic clearly stand out in a positive way from the other Eastern European countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina has the lowest score in Europe (-0.98), ranking 177th out of 209 globally. In total there are ten European countries with a negative score: Bosnia and Herzegovina (-0.98), Belarus (-0.73), Moldova (-0.46), Ukraine (-0.36), Kosovo (-0.32), Romania (-0.22), Albania (-0.14), Bulgaria (-0.07), Turkey (-0.04) and Montenegro (-0.02).

The data for this map comes from the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI). They report aggregate and individual governance indicators for over 200 countries and territories for six dimensions of governance:

  • Voice and Accountability
  • Political Stability and Absence of Violence
  • Government Effectiveness
  • Regulatory Quality
  • Rule of Law
  • Control of Corruption

These aggregate indicators combine the views of a large number of enterprise, citizen and expert survey respondents in industrial and developing countries. They are based on over 30 individual data sources produced by a variety of survey institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and private sector firms.

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