COVID-19 and the challenges to democratic systems

MEPs and representatives of EU institutions, governments and NGOs will gather on 14-17th September to debate the challenges the pandemic poses to democratic systems.

The spread of COVID-19 in 2020 has not only put people's lives in danger, but has also transformed how they work, communicate and make political decisions.

International Democracy Week comprises a series of events and workshops on global democracy and the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be held online from 14 to 17 September and is organised by the European Parliament and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in order to highlight the repercussions of the current crisis on democracy and fundamental freedoms.

In celebration of International Democracy Day

on Tuesday, 15 September, MEPs and representatives of EU institutions, governments and NGOs will come together to debate the European and international response to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on democracy. Among the speakers will be commisisoner Vera Jourova.

The other sessions, kicking off on Monday 14 September, will range from conversations on COVID-19 and the future of international democracy support to thematic workshops on parliaments, political parties, independent media and infodemics, democratic innovations and tech policy and the latest developments in Belarus.

Among the several speakers this year: European Parliament Vice-President Heidi Hautala(The Greens/EFA, Finland), former Slovenian President Danilo Türk, Venezuelan opposition politician Julio Borges and Swedish State Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh, as well as heads of international organisations, members of parliament, journalists, democracy and foreign policy experts and practitioners.

European Parliament President David Sassoli and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will also address the participants during the high-level meeting held on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 September.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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