Iceland, Denmark, Austria top list of world’s most peaceful countries
Seven European states are among the 10 most peaceful countries in the world despite the threat of terrorist attacks and social unrest due to the migration crisis on the Continent, according to the Global Peace Index 2016.
Iceland, Denmark and Austria are the most peaceful countries in the world, according to the index that is compiled annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Four other European states — Portugal, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovenia — are among the top 10, along with New Zealand, Japan and Canada.
On the other end of the ranking are countries ravaged by war and conflict: Syria, South Sudan and Iraq, according to the IEP report. Overall, ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the growing threat of terrorism and violent attacks have contributed to making the world a less peaceful place this year, the report says.
In Europe, Portugal rose nine spots, to the fifth place, reflecting the country’s “gradual return to political normality” after it completed the joint EU/IMF economic adjustment program in 2014, the report says.
Greece, which is still part of a bailout program, dropped four spots, to 82nd place.
France and Belgium are the two European countries that have been hit hardest by terrorism over the past year, with the attacks in Paris and Brussels behind the two countries’ drop in the rankings by one and three spots respectively.
The rankings for France and the U.K. have not improved due to the countries’ military engagements abroad, the report also notes.
Turkey recorded the most dramatic slide in the rankings due to the deepening security crisis within the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian rule and the spillover of the war in neighboring Syria, according to the report.