Politica y Prosa, Francisco Longo
September 30, 2021
About Francisco Longo: he is a professor at Esade-Gov, Esade’s Center for Public Governance.
The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, after being elected, on 25 May. Photograph by Alberto Estévez. Efe.
A perception of absent government, hyper-politicized administration and fractured society, according to poor results in Gothenburg ranking
The perception of citizens about the quality of a government is not a matter that can be taken for granted by the results of an election. On the one hand, because the electoral behavior of citizens is often influenced by considerations outside their judgment of the work of government performed. On the other hand, because, even when this judgment is used, each voter can value different things when casting the vote. The fact is that the very concept of good governance, or good governance, is characterized by the criteria used to define it.
Therefore, researchers at the Government Institute for Quality in the University of Gothenburg, convinced of the usefulness of making a comparative analysis of European citizens’ perceptions of the quality of their regional governments, began to limit the concept, all anchoring it in three dimensions of government action – impartiality, level of corruption and quality of services provided – and building a synthetic index that would allow the comparison between different institutional realities.
QoG Institute research is relevant for several reasons. First of all, it shows considerable sample size and breadth: the latest edition covers 129,000 respondents from 210 regions, belonging to the current 27 member states of the European Union. In addition, the four rounds of the study (2010, 2013, 2017 and 2021) allow you to enjoy a historical series that facilitates dynamic analysis and trend extraction. From the perspective of Catalonia (and also of other Spanish autonomous communities), the European Index of Government Quality (EQI) provides a unique opportunity for comparisons, as it is the only European report measuring disaggregated perceptions at regional level.
If we limit the contrast to Spain, Catalonia obtains the worst result of the 17 autonomous communities.
If we limit the contrast to Spain, Catalonia obtains the worst result of the 17 autonomous communities. In this internal classification, led by the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarra and Asturias, nine of the CAs get a positive rating and eight get a negative index. Catalonia, with an index of -0.7, is the one that obtains, among the suspended communities, the worst score. Without the bad assessment being a novelty (the Catalan index has repeatedly remained among the lowest in the different rounds of the study), this latest edition shows a clear deterioration, and the fall of five positions.
The results of the last edition of the study (N. Charron, V. Lapuente, and M. Bauht, 2021) regarding Catalonia are devastating. In the EQI 2021 ranking, we rank 137th out of 210 European regions, with a value well below average. Only 73 regions belonging to Bulgaria, Greece, overseas France, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania and Slovakia score below. All the regions belonging to the European states known for their institutional solidity are above.