The initial results from the PPTI measurement for 2021 confirm the assumption that there is a strong pattern of similarities between the political parties in the Western Balkans. Overall, WB political parties can be broadly summarised as less democratic than their peers in EU member states and in the U.K., nurturing rather strong autocratic practices stemming from the leadership, containing semi-authoritarian provisions in their party statutes which in turn potentially open the door for cronyism, especially in selecting candidates for the parliaments. Political parties in WB tend to be mass parties with many members and activists, with a less ideological and more catch-all approach. Apart from several parties which were sanctioned for financial misdemeanours, the rest conform to the financial requirements of their respective national legal frameworks.
Looking solely at our PPTI research process, where 23 political parties from the region participated, the average score for all 23 parties is 57.9 per cent. This score confirms our assumption that there is still a lot of room for improvement in all three PPTI pillars. There is no clear pattern when assessing the overall score of political parties country to country. Essentially, we could not track a country that has a distinctively better party performance than other countries. However, in each of the WB countries we could distinguish certain parties that outperform the others by relatively substantial margins (at least in some pillars) nationally and/or cross-country. It means that the level of party development in all three pillars is to a greater extent related to the individual political party performance rather than to the specific features of a given country (such as political culture, advancement in the EU accession process, democratic development, etc).