Pillar highlights: strengthening Business Environment and Governance, but weakening society
The key gains for Western Europe this year were in Governance and in Business Environment. Judiciaries were perceived as more independent of governments; there was greater freedom for the legal system to challenge regulation and more transparent policymaking. In Business Environment, the region saw better intellectual property rights and improved business infrastructure.
However, the region has continued to decline in Social Capital this year, especially in the area of civic engagement – people are donating to charity less, volunteering less and are less likely to voice their opinion to public officials. People are also reporting less opportunity to build friendships than last year.