Newsletter N°22 - July 2021
Democracy is of vital importance
Democratic failure is a dangerous disease that takes the lives of numerous people every year. It can drag entire societies into a downward spiral. Because without democratic competence, procedures and culture, societies don’t invest in essential innovations.
But when it comes to developing our democracies further, we are still in the age of quackery. People are often unaware of the bad health their democracy is in. The leaders of democracies are often hopelessly entangled in their own failures and mutual recriminations. Hardly any effort or money is ever put towards researching and promoting successful democracy.
This is exactly why we founded Democracy International ten years ago. The mission: first, research and learn about democracy. Second, stimulate democracy knowledge and democracy innovation around the world. Third, jointly develop innovative democracy practices also at the transnational level.
Time flies and when I look back, I can see that the path we took has proven to be promising. The European Citizens' Initiative is gradually growing out of its infancy and becoming an important element in the development of European democracy. The Conference on the Future of Europe shows that Europeans are aware of their mandate to develop democracy further. With the World Citizens' Initiative, we have started to make the push for a direct democracy instrument on the global level. And with the support of the Direct Democracy Navigator, we have researched and made available essential knowledge about direct democracy procedures around the world.
But Democracy International is also just getting started. I'll mention just three examples from Democracy International's board.
There is my colleague on the board, Prof. Mehdi Ben Mimoun, who is a professor at the "Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie (INAT)" of the University of Carthage in Tunisia since 1999. The whole world has a duty to support Tunisia so that we don’t lose the democratic dream of the Arab spring. To help, Democracy International would like to organize regular youth congresses there that combine economic and democracy focuses.
Then there is my colleague Dr. Daniela Bozhinova, chair of the Association for the Promotion of Citizens’ Initiatives in Bulgaria. In this "new" EU member states, a struggle for the rule of law and democracy has broken out. Democracy International wants to draw attention to grievances and corruption and to push through important democratic reforms.
Last but not least, there are journalist Joe Mathews and democracy developer Dane Waters from the USA, who have had to watch how the US democracy has slid into an insoluble democratic tangle. Democracy International would like to contribute a neutral view from the outside to the domestic political discourse in the United States.
You can see Democracy International's work like a healthcare policy, bringing together medical knowledge, experts from medical professions and society. Through targeted proposals and social interventions, human lives can be saved.
Yes, Democracy International e. V. works in the field of democracy politics and that is vital!
Board Member, Democracy International