For the 2020 edition of the Avenir Suisse Freedom Index, a total of 33 societal and economic indicators were evaluated, the think tank writes in a presentation of the rankings for the cantons of Switzerland. For the first time, the Principality of Liechtenstein was included in the evaluation, Samuel Rutz and Mario Bonato explain. “And this small sovereign state need not shy away from comparisons with the Swiss cantons”, the two Avenir Suisse analysts state. In fact, Liechtenstein actually went straight to the top of the rankings at the first time of asking.
The presentation describes how the high-flying Liechtenstein recorded a series of top values in the economic subindex. In this context, the focus is, among other factors, on housing investments and the country’s credit rating. However, Liechtenstein scored particularly well in terms of its civil liberties, the analysts write. They highlight the protection of non-smokers, the dancing ban as well as the ban on alcohol consumption and face coverings in public. In this context, the regulations that apply in Liechtenstein are “significantly less restrictive than in many Swiss cantons”. Avenir Suisse additionally praises the fact that it is “around three times faster to obtain a building permit in Liechtenstein than in the average Swiss canton”.
Nevertheless, the think tank’s experts also indicate some areas for improvement. Specifically, the analysts highlight the extended period of residence required to become a Liechtenstein national, the wealth of monopolies as well as a lack of regulations to define how long video surveillance data may be stored and no tax-deductible option for external support. On the whole, however, the analysts come to the conclusion that the Swiss cantons could certainly “learn a thing or two from the Principality of Liechtenstein when it comes to the liberal structure of the political system”.