Democracy Week 2020: Overcoming Adversity, Innovating Democracy

14 - 17 September 2020

“The COVID-19 pandemic threatens more than the lives and the livelihoods of people throughout the world. It is also a political crisis that threatens the future of liberal democracy. It represents a formidable global challenge to democracy. Authoritarians around the world see the crisis as a new political battleground in their fight to stigmatize democracy as feeble and reverse its dramatic gains of the past few decades. The COVID-19 crisis is an alarming wake-up call, an urgent warning that the freedoms we cherish are at risk and that we must not take them for granted.”  Fragment of the statement A Call to Defend Democracy, June 2020.


2020 has thus become a pivotal year for European and international leadership on democracy, in which the actions of today will shape the world of tomorrow. As such and on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy on 15 September, this year’s International Democracy Week from 14 to17 September will focus on what we can do to strengthen democracy and foster democratic innovation. 

The online series of high-level events and workshops on global democracy and the pandemic is organised by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), European Endowment for Democracy (EED), European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) and Carnegie Europe, in partnership with the European Parliament.

To inspire discussions, the series will also mark the launch of the Report “Global Democracy and COVID-19: Upgrading International Support”. It assesses the impact that Covid-19 is having on democracy around the world and examines how international democracy support organisations and donors are responding to the challenges related to the pandemic. The Report was drafted at the initiative of the European Endowment for Democracy and supported by 11 pro-democracy organisations, including organising partners of the International Democracy Week.  




  • Monday, 14 September, 14:30 - 16:00 CEST - Global Democracy and the Coronavirus Fallout  

This high-level political discussion will focus on the state of global democracy, European foreign policy, and democracy support amid the pandemic. 


  • Tuesday, 15 September, 15:00 - 16:30 CEST - European and international response to the COVID19 crisis and its impact on democracy:  

This high-level event will showcase visions of European and international leaders for the future of democracy support, post-pandemic. 


  • Tuesday, 15 September, 18:00 - 19:30 CEST - Democracy and Tech policy – what COVID-19 has taught us:  

This webinar explores the intersection of digitalisation and democratic politics, investigating the possible opportunities for democracies to regain control of the democratic digital space in light of the rising trend of autocratisation in Europe and abroad. 


  • Wednesday, 16 September, 15:00 - 16:15 CEST - The impact of Covid-19 on media – rise of infodemics?  

This session will take stock of the post-Corona media landscape, analyse the impact of Covid-19 infodemics on democracy and try to establish how to combat this phenomenon. 


  • Wednesday, 16 September, 17:00 – 18:30 CEST - Political parties in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic  

This session will explore the implications of today’s global pandemic on political parties and the mechanisms that they put in place to safeguard and uphold democracy.  


  • Thursday, 17 September, 10:30 - 12:00 CEST – Belarus - A New Democracy in the Making? 

This session will take stock of the latest developments in Belarus, discussing possible ways the situation may evolve, and how the EU can continue to assist the Belarusian people striving for democracy. 


  • Thursday, 17 September, 14:30 - 16:30 CEST - Parliaments’ responses to the pandemic: are virtual parliaments here to stay? 

This session looks at how parliaments around the world have responded and adapted during the coronavirus pandemic and explores whether and how adopted parliamentary innovations can be shaped to reinforce democratic governance. 


Join us for a full week of events to strengthen diversity and innovate democracy!


Partner Organizations/collaborators: 
European Endowment for Democracy (EED), European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP), Carnegie Europe and the European Parliament.

To submit questions to any panel before the events please contact us at or tweet #DemocracyWeek2020.