A Survey of Europe’s Safest and Most Turbulent Nations

In considering a move to Europe, one of the key factors for expatriates and travelers alike is the level of peace and safety in potential destinations. Europe, with its diverse countries, offers a range of environments from the most serene and secure to those facing challenges in terms of peace. This article examines Europe’s safest and most turbulent nations, based on various safety and peace indices, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the continent’s diverse security landscape.

Assessing Peace in Europe’s Safest Nations

The level of peace in a country can significantly impact the quality of life and is a crucial consideration for anyone planning to relocate or visit.

Europe’s Most Peaceful Countries

Based on reports like the Global Peace Index (GPI), which consider factors such as societal safety, ongoing conflicts, and militarization, some of Europe’s most peaceful nations include:

  1. Iceland
    • Safety Features: Consistently ranks as the most peaceful country globally, known for its low crime rate, lack of militarization, and stable political environment.
    • Societal Factors: High standard of living, strong social trust, and effective law enforcement contribute to its peaceful status.
  2. Denmark
    • Low Crime Rates: Denmark boasts low crime rates and a high level of societal trust.
    • Quality of Governance: Effective governance and a strong focus on social welfare are key contributors to its peace and safety.
  3. Portugal
    • Significant Improvement: Portugal has seen a significant improvement in its peace index over the years, attributed to reduced crime rates and political stability.
    • Social Harmony: Emphasis on social harmony and integration has enhanced its peaceful environment.
  4. Austria
    • Social Security: Known for its social security system and high quality of life.
    • Low Conflict Levels: Austria has low levels of domestic and international conflict, contributing to its peaceful atmosphere.
  5. Switzerland
    • Neutrality: Switzerland’s long-standing policy of neutrality and strong democratic principles play a significant role in its peace ranking.
    • Social Policies: Excellent social policies and a well-functioning government enhance its safe environment.

Europe’s Least Peaceful Countries

Conversely, some European countries face challenges that impact their peace rankings:

  1. Ukraine
    • Ongoing Conflict: The ongoing conflict, particularly in the eastern regions, significantly affects its peace ranking.
    • Political Instability: Political tensions and instability further contribute to its lower peace score.
  2. Turkey
    • Regional Conflicts: Involvement in regional conflicts and internal political tensions have impacted Turkey’s peace status.
    • Security Issues: Issues related to border security and internal disputes are factors in its ranking.
  3. Russia
    • Militarization: High levels of militarization and involvement in international conflicts affect Russia’s peace index.
    • Internal Policies: Internal security policies and societal issues also play a role in its ranking.

The Importance of Considering Safety and Peace

  • Quality of Life: Peace and safety are directly correlated with the quality of life and well-being.
  • Relocation Decisions: For expatriates, understanding the peace and safety profile of a country is essential for making informed relocation decisions.


Europe offers a spectrum of environments in terms of peace and safety, with countries like Iceland and Denmark providing some of the most secure and serene settings, while others face challenges that impact their tranquility. For individuals considering moving to or traveling within Europe, assessing the peace and safety of potential destinations is a critical step in ensuring a positive and enriching experience in the continent.

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