14 January 2021: The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) has now expanded real-time coverage to all of Europe, extending the dataset to 37 new countries and territories. These data add more than 28,000 political violence and demonstration events and bring ACLED’s combined Europe dataset — now covering a total of 52 countries and territories — to over 47,000 events from the beginning of 2020 to the present.
The expansion allows for new data-driven analysis of a range of key disorder trends across Europe, from Yellow Vest demonstrations in France and protests over abortion restrictions in Poland, to prison unrest in Italy and climate-change strikes in Sweden, to far-right activity in Germany and separatist movements in Spain.
Full analysis of these trends will be presented in an upcoming special report. Find the latest analysis and an interactive dashboard mapping the data on our new Europe Resources page.
Political Violence and Protest in Europe: 2020
From January to December 2020, ACLED records more than 46,000 political violence and demonstration events across the region:
- Over 36,000 are demonstration events
- Peaceful protests account for the vast majority — more than 97% — of these demonstration events
- Most demonstrations are reported in Italy at over 5,500 events, followed by France at over 5,200, Germany at over 4,300, Spain at over 3,300, and the United Kingdom at over 2,200
- ACLED records more than 1,200 cases of intervention or excessive force against peaceful protesters, with the highest number of events reported in Belarus at over 270, Russia at over 200, France at over 130, Germany at over 110, and the United Kingdom at over 100
- Over 9,300 are political violence events
- Battles and explosions/remote violence events account for the vast majority — more than 89% — of all political violence events
- Violence against civilians accounts for nearly 3% of all political violence in Europe, with most events recorded in Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, Greece, and Italy
- Most political violence is concentrated in Ukraine, which accounts for over 89% at over 8,400 events, followed by France, Germany, Italy, Greece, and the United Kingdom
- While total demonstration levels declined in Europe after the pandemic declaration in March, they surged during the second half of the year and peaked in October, with most demonstrations that month reported in Poland amid a spike in women’s rights protests
- Overall, political violence decreased precipitously since March, but has steadily begun to rise again since August
A US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2014, ACLED is the highest quality and most widely used real-time data and analysis source on political violence and protest around the world.
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