Passports issued by the European Union Member States remain among the most powerful in the world, even in 2020, the latest update of the Henley Passport Index shows, with Germany, Finland, and Italy topping the table for this group.
In 2020, German passport holders are capable to travel to 189 world countries visa-free or with a visa on arrival for tourism or commercial purposes, while Finns and Italians are capable to visit only one country less – 188. Unlike last October when Germany and Finland were both in the second spot with their citizens eligible to visit 188 world countries visa-free or with a visa on arrival, now Germany is listed in the third spot and Finland in the fourth.
Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain follow right after, with their citizens being able to visit 187 countries in 2020 without the hurdles of getting a visa in advance, while the French and Swedish EU passport holders can visit 186 countries.
Other EU/Schengen Members listed in the top 10 first positions of the overall passport power list:
- 7th – Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland – 185 countries
- 8th – Belgium, Greece, Norway, United Kingdom – 184 countries
- 9th – Australia, Czech Republic, Malta – 183 countries
- 10th – Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia – 181 countries
“European states such as Austria, Malta, and Switzerland clearly show that countries with a business-friendly environment tend to score highly when it comes to passport power. Likewise, by using the Human Freedom Index, we found a strong correlation between personal freedom and travel freedom,” reads a press release by Henley Passport Index, which is a list of world passports, which ranks passports from the most powerful to the weakest, based on how many other countries one can visit with that passport visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival/e-visa,
The data is updated in real-time by Henley Global, as and when visa policy changes come into effect. It includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.
While most EU countries have hopped upward in the list, the UK is one of the countries that things have not gone so well for.
“The US and the UK continue their downward trajectory on the index’s rankings. While both countries remain in the top 10, their shared 8th-place position is a significant decline from the number one spot they jointly held in 2015,” the press release explains.
Despite all EU countries are placed in the 20 first positions of the index, mostly sharing the spot with at least one other country, the most powerful passport in the world is that of Japan, followed by Singapore.
This year, Japanese passport holders will be able to travel to 191 countries visa-free, while nationals of Singapore will be able to visit only one country less, making these two the most powerful for travel. South Korea, another Asian passport is listed third alongside Germany.