Don't Worry, Be Happy

State of Democracy in the Nordic Countries

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The Nordic Council of Ministers has analysed data from interviews with residents of the Nordic Region to explore how democratic participation and perceptions of democracy have changed since the beginning of the 2000s. The study shows that although interest in politics has increased in the region since 2002, there is no discernible trend with regard to trust in national parliaments or trust in politicians. Compared with the rest of Europe, those living in the Nordic Region have a high level of trust in the European Parliament. Interest in politics in the region is also greater than in the rest of Europe. This report is authored by the policy analysis unit at the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers. It forms part of the unit’s report series exploring current key topics from a Nordic perspective.

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The challenges faced by democracy and declining political participation are now common topics of discussion. The Nordic Council of Ministers has compiled data from interviews conducted between 2002 end 2016 with those living in the Nordic countries to examine how interest in politics and political participation has changed in the region. In addition, the report examines the level of trust in politicians and parliaments among Nordic residents and whether this hes changed over time. In addition to compering the Nordic countries with one another nationally, attitudes towards democracy and participation in democratic processes have been compared by gender and age group for each Nordic country. Do attitudes towards democracy differ between the young and the old? Furthermore, the Nordic countries have been compared with the rest of Europe to gain an understanding of whether the region stands out in a wider European context.

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