International IDEA Secretary-General participates in panel on the Future of Europe at 5th Global Baku Forum
On 17 March, International IDEA’s Secretary-General, Yves Leterme, took part in the 5th Global Baku Forum on “The Future of International relations: Power and Interest”, discussing the future of Europe.
Leading figures in global politics, gathered at the 5th Global Baku Forum on16 and 17th of March to discuss and analyze the future of international relations and share their vision on potential solutions to the multiple threats the world is facing today.
Yves Leterme took part in a panel discussion about the Future of Europe along with other former presidents, such as Valdis Zatlers, former President of Latvia and former Prime Ministers, including Wim Kok, Prime Minister of The Netherlands from 1994 to 2002.
Leterme focused his intervention on Europe's challenges and threats to democracy in Europe, including the crisis of representation, declining voter turnout, and the rise of political parties with populist tendencies across Europe. He emphasized that these tendencies show that democratic progress is not a linear process, that democratic stalling and reversals are common, and that even mature democracies can corrode if not nurtured and protected.
Based on International IDEA' work, Leterme, offered some possible solutions for combatting the declining support for the European Union, such as exploring innovative ways of reconnecting parties with citizens, increasing citizens’ trust in political institutions, and fighting against Euro-skepticism. He also highlighted the need to engage young people in politics and promote greater voter turnout by providing adequate spaces to discuss and debate critical issues.
Leterme underlined that Europe is a diverse region with a wide spectrum of democratic experiences, from Western European countries with long-established, well-consolidated and mature democracies; to countries in Central Europe that have not so long ago undergone democratic transitions; to countries in the Balkans emerging from conflict. International IDEA supports democracies across the entire spectrum with the aim of supporting the consolidation of robust and resilient democracies.