Belgium is 19th in the World Peace Index 2017. This is a ranking of countries according to their levels of peace. This report was presented in Brussels yesterday (Monday). Belgium has dropped by one place owing, in particular, to the increased impact of terrorism in Europe. In the 11th ranking report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Belgium is 19th out of 163. It is tied with the Netherlands. Belgium is part of the group of countries with “increased levels” of peace, such as the Scandinavian countries, Germany and indeed Singapore. They are behind the “champions” who are Iceland and New Zealand (with “extremely high” peace levels).
The report comes back, in particular, to the growing impact of terrorism in economically highly-developed countries. The number of deaths linked to terrorism has increased by 900% in OECD countries, since 2007. These have occurred mainly in Turkey, France, the United States and Belgium. In Brussels, the March 22nd attacks last year, in Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station, caused 32 deaths with 340 people being injured.
The increased impact of terrorism has also led to France losing five places in the rankings. France was hit by an attack in Nice in July 2016, coming after the Paris attacks of November 13th, 2015.
Nevertheless, the report’s authors mention that the number of deaths within the OECD only represent 2% of all deaths linked to terrorism. Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria and the Yemen indeed remain the most affected by the problem. Another striking fact in 2016 is that the attempted coup d’état in Turkey culminated in a repressive climate in the country. However, Turkey has dropped only one place and is classified as 146th.