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”
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, this year’s International Democracy Week will focus on what we can do to strengthen democracy and foster democratic innovation.
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 democracy organisations, including organising partners of the International Democracy Week.