The Global Peace Index (GPI) 2019, a world study on peace elaborated by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics & Peace, was announced last Tuesday (June 11th). Portugal was ranked 3rd, among 163 countries, comprising 99,7% of the world population. Iceland and New Zealand were first and second, respectively.
The “podium” confirms a steady evolution after the country got 4th place in 2017 and 5th in 2018. According to the report itself (a 103-page document available in its official site, Vision of Humanity), the GPI evaluates “23 qualitative and quantitative indicators” and measures three “thematic domains”:
- Societal Safety and Security;
- Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and
The role of Portuguese public opinion
Portuguese public opinion doesn’t make a big fuss about the GPI results, although the Minister responsible for police and security matters, Eduardo Cabrita, spoke about it to the media. As one would expect, as this result looks good to the government. Anyway, for most people the news was quite ignored; in social media, detractors of the government would even question the whole concept of the GPI, regarding recent tension between security forces and the inhabitants of predominant African origin in Lisbon suburbs.
This is the typical case of one being indifferent to the value of something, due to the feeling of normality. The criteria of Domestic and International Conflict and Militarisation get hardly any recognition from people who did not suffer severe internal or external conflict (aside from African wars) for more than 150 years.
Regarding Societal Safety and Security, if you look at the tabloid newspapers and TV channels (namely CMTV, which behaves very much as the exclusive crime reporting media of the country), you wouldn’t quite feel that Portugal is safe. But when you look at the stats and especially when you go through the country, namely in Algarve, you’ll quickly understand that GPI is right and the levels of security are very high.
The GPI ends up being more recognized abroad, and especially if one is considering going somewhere on holidays ore moving permanently. If you’re looking for somewhere with high-security levels, low risks of terrorism, low risks of political strife or instability, with a relatively low risk of multiple climate hazards or a single climate hazards (and combined with the resources to cope and recover from those events), you should look at the top places of the GPI. And you’ll find Portugal at the very top of your list.
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