Troublesome tendencies for decline in levels of democracy are to be observed worldwide as Freedom House reports. This is the case not only in transition countries, but also in established democracies. Nations in Transit 2016 defines only 7 out of 29 former Soviet countries as consolidated democracies, with Russia as the biggest consolidated autocracy having 35% of population in the region. While the most of Central and Southern European countries are today members of the European Union, others closer to the East seem to have stopped or even reversed some of this early progress towards democracy.

Established democracies experience even higher tendencies in decline due to the latest dynamics in the political and security environment, so the good performers from before became bad and the bad became worse. Freedom House explains these results with the series of destabilizing events as the Brexit and the Trump election in 2016 as well as the ongoing Ukraine crisis and the war in Syria. Furthermore the migration crisis, the rise of populism and nationalism are noted as main driving forces for this decline.