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2021 Democracy Week - Stronger together: Partnerships for supporting democracy

Online event

International IDEA invites you to the 2021 Democracy Week, in celebration of International Day of Democracy.  

One year ago, a Global Call to Defend Democracy was launched, supported by more than 70 organizations and nearly 500 prominent personalities from 119 countries, including 62 former heads of state and government, 13 Nobel laureates, distinguished scholars, journalists and activists.

As we look back, we see that since then, democracy has been challenged but has not faltered. Although some states introduced excessive pandemic measures that eroded democracy, many governments exercised self-restraint. As we look forward, we see that vigilance remains crucial, as the greatest test to democracy may be yet to come.

It is through democracy that a multilateral system, of mutual dependence and solidarity, can make the pandemic recovery a truly global one. It is through democracy that future crises, from pandemics to climate change, can be averted.

 In partnership we stand to support democracy. We are stronger together.

The European Partnership for Democracy, Carnegie Europe, the European Endowment for Democracy, the European Network of Political Foundations, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and the European Commission invite you to the International Day of Democracy (IDD). This annual celebration will this year consist of a series of events marked as International Democracy Week from 15 to 17 September 2021. Europe’s leading democracy support organizations will be bringing together prominent voices in the field of politics and democracy, to discuss how Global Partnerships can reinvigorate democracy after the health crisis.


Programme overview:

After Afghanistan: A discussion with the Brussels democracy support community (15 September, 12:00-13:00 CEST)

The fall of Kabul four weeks ago has highlighted the failure of nearly 20 years of nation-building and raises questions about the effectiveness of democracy support. Executive Directors and representatives of leading European democracy support organizations will review what recent events in Afghanistan mean for democracy support at a time when democracy faces severe challenges, but retains significant support from citizens around the world. Speakers will discuss lessons to be learned, and the kinds of democracy support now possible in Afghanistan and other countries worldwide, and will look at success stories of the recent past.


Stronger Together: Partnerships for supporting democracy (15 September, 16:00-17:30 CEST)

To mark IDD 2021, this coffee-table talk will bring together democratic leaders from the Global North and South. The conversation will serve as a space to define forward-looking and inclusive commitments for the future of democracy, and to highlight ongoing multilateral and strategic cooperation between transatlantic and global actors.


Human Rights Based Approach—a toolbox for placing rights-holders at the centre of international partnerships (16 September, 10:30-12:00 CEST)

The European Commission has updated the EU Toolbox on the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA). It provides practical tools, guidance and examples, for placing individuals and their human rights at the centre of international partnerships. The Toolbox aims at strengthening democracy through participation, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability.


Best Practices for International Democratisation Initiatives: Lessons from Georgia and the Eastern Partnership Programme (16 September, 12:00-13:30 CEST)

In this session, ENoP member organizations—from three different political families—will present their partnerships for democracy in the Eastern Partnership country of Georgia. Together with their Georgian partner organizations, they will reflect on their activities and draw lessons for international democratisation efforts. How do the different European and Georgian foundations operate in Georgia? How do they evaluate their programmes? And how does the political context affect democratisation initiatives?


Global Partnerships for supporting democracy online (16 September, 15:00-16:30 CEST)

A new EU-US Trade and Technology Alliance was announced in June 2021. This alliance will cooperate on the development of new technologies based on shared democratic values. This debate therefore brings together key transatlantic and multi-stakeholder speakers on democracy and technology from the fields of politics and the tech industry, as well as from the Global South. It will discuss pertinent questions including: How can big tech work with actors such as governments, political parties, civil society and international organizations to defend democracy online? How to ensure the inclusion and voice of the Global South in setting common standards?


Supporting democracy in Europe and the European Neighbourhood: The role of independent media and civil society (17 September, 12:00-13:30 CEST)

As governments throughout the European neighbourhood have continued to respond to the Covid-19 health emergency and react to deepening economic crises, civil society and independent media are playing a crucial role in building and defending democracy. This session will welcome a range of speakers from the MENA region and the Western Balkans, including civil activists and independent journalists, to discuss their instrumental role in protecting and strengthening democracy.

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