10 May 2017
Location KABELHALLERNE Refshalevej 325
1432 Copenhagen, Denmark

Security or Democracy – do we need to make a choice?

10 May 2017
KABELHALLERNE Refshalevej 325
1432 Copenhagen, Denmark

The European Endowment for Democracy in cooperation with the International Media Support, Danish Foreign Policy Society and Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy is organising a conference devoted to democratic challenges in the European Neighbourhood. The conference, taking place on 10 May 2017 in Copenhagen, will gather Danish democracy-support community, Member States’ representatives, high level speakers and democracy activists, to jointly discuss how Europe engages in supporting the development of democracy and democracy activists in the European Neighbourhood.

Interactivity with the audience will be ensured by using Twitter to let the audience ask questions throughout the conference and crowdsource the top relevant questions (join the discussion using #SecurityOrDemocracy).

A dedicated interactive space will also host audio-visual material and messages produced by EED grantees in the three countries of the event’s focus.

The conference will be accompanied by a side event "What Future for Human Rights Work in North Africa?".


BACKGROUND

Today, the reality in many countries in the European Neighbourhood is bleak. Marred by political instability, corruption, and in some places, violent conflicts, deep challenges persist in terms of human rights, democratic and institutional development, and social cohesion.

The sense of optimism and promise of democracy that accompanied the Arab Spring and Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine has slowly faded, leaving behind disillusionment and a sense of insecurity. Instead of democratic consolidation, the revolutionary upheavals have given rise to political turmoil or resurgent autocracy, which creates a hostile and challenging reality for democracy activists in these countries.

The conference will take an in-depth look at the situation in three countries which have a key role to play in determining the political future in the European Neighbourhood: Egypt, Syria and Ukraine. Democracy activists from these countries will share their first-hand experience on how external partners can best support them in their work to enhance democracy on the ground. They will also provide their assessment on concrete steps that can be taken to support positive developments despite the very challenging circumstances.

Event Report