The Good Governance Index, devised by Nézőpont Intézet, examines the governmental performance of V4 countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in the year 2013 along a total of twenty-four headings, organised into three question periods (political stability, social relations and economic perspective), each of which contain eight questions. Commissioned experts representing Visegrád Group countries analysed the year 2013 with respect to their countries’ governmental performance on the basis of objective rankings and practical issues.
Good Governance Index values are produced by the average of countries’ results gained in each question period as a percentage of the maximum score. Based on the results drawn, it can be claimed that the entire Visegrád region holds favourable positions within the European Union, and countries’ individual performances also give cause for optimism. The Visegrád region could emerge to the forefront of the European Union in the upcoming years, provided that the various countries succeed in stabilising their political, social and economic situations.
At present, Hungary holds the most stable position within the region, followed in a close race between Poland and Slovakia. The Czech governance performance fell short of that of the other countries due to its weaker political stability.
Hungary achieved the best result in the field of political stability. This area has also of key importance with regard to the entire emerging Visegrád region because stable governance enables predictability in social matters and sustainable economic policies. Moreover, political stability is also an important consideration for foreign investors too. However, further progress will be necessary in countries belonging to the region with respect to other factors with an influence on the stability of the political system, such as the efficiency of the system of government, the quality of legislation or the fight against corruption.
In the field of the social situation, Hungary also finished in first place, although the results for Poland and Slovakia are also favourable. Hungary’s performance in the area was enhanced by high scores for questions addressing objective figures, such as the trend of broadening employment and the increase of real wages. Immediate attention to areas of social policy carrying high levels of risks is of key importance with regard to the region as a whole. Negative demographic tendencies and problems endured by families and the future generation, such as the labour market situation and home-making, require coordinated and substantial solutions.
With regard to economic perspectives, Poland takes the lead, although the performance of the other three countries is also promising in the light of results for the year 2013. The position of the Visegrád region as regards economic policy and room for manoeuvre has been and continues to be determined chiefly by development. The main direction of this is the integration into knowledge-based society, job creation and economic strategy aimed at establishing a sustainable pattern of growth. Within the European Union, the Visegrád region is a highly dynamic area also in terms of the economy, which can be explained by several factors, including ascent from a lower base level and the enhancement of the region’s geopolitical role. However, the future must see every country conscientiously concentrating on their so-far largely consistent budgetary policy, successful monetary policy and a growth-centred development agenda. These three factors are of prime importance with regard to the establishment of the sustainable pattern of economic growth currently already under formulation.
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