IDD Brussels 2022


2021 was a year of further democratic backsliding in many countries worldwide. Seventy percent of the world’s population now live in either outright non-democratic regimes or democratically backsliding countries, compared to forty-six percent ten years ago.

In December 2021, one hundred countries joined President Biden’s Summit for Democracy to affirm global commitments to democracy, with the White House announcing 2022 as a ‘year of action’ to support and promote democracy worldwide. As part of the preparation for this conference, fourteen leading pro-democracy organisations and think tanks came together and identified Five Messages for the summit that are crucial to advancing democracy worldwide. In the European Union, a Team Europe Democracy Initiative was also launched to inspire coordination with EU member states on external democracy action.

Russia’s attack against Ukraine has escalated this shift in the geopolitical landscape. A watershed moment for the future of democracy, this war further advances anti-democratic trends worldwide. Yet at this same time, the last few months have seen the international community, including EU member states, come together in an unprecedented show of solidarity to protect and support democracy.

During this year’s Democracy Day discussions, a wide range of high-level speakers, international democracy advocates, and activists from both sides of the Atlantic and the Global South will address the challenges of this new world order for democracy. They will discuss the mechanisms to protect and support democracy, such as Team Europe, and the potential for greater North-South collaboration.


Filsan Abdi

Former Ethiopian Minister of Women, Children and Youth

Qyira Yusri

Education Director and Co Founder of UNDI18

Imad Daimi

President, Raqabah Observatory

Valeriu Drăgălin

President, European Democracy Youth Network

Ken Godfrey

Executive Director, European Partnership for Democracy (EPD)

Bama Athreya

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub and Inclusive Development Hub, USAID

Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin

Sweden’s ambassador for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

David Salvo

Deputy Director, Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund.

Jerzy Pomianowski

Executive Director, European Endowment for Democracy (EED)

Neal Mac Call

Head of Division Democracy and Electoral Observation, European External Action Service


16:00 - 17:00 Online

Rebuilding Ukraine: the Lugano Declaration

In this webinar, prominent civil society activists from Ukraine will discuss the main tenets of the Civil Society Manifesto (Lugano Declaration) and the need to involve civil society to achieve success in reforming and rebuilding a post-war Ukraine, built on a strong democratic foundation.

Yuliia Bankova Yuliia Bankova
Oleksandra Matviychuk Oleksandra Matviychuk
Andriy Dligach Andriy Dligach
Svitlana Matviyenko Svitlana Matviyenko
09:00 - 09:30 Committee of the Regions

Registration for the Morning Sessions

09:30 - 09:35 Committee of the Regions

Video Message by Jan Lipavský, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

09:35 - 09:55 Committee of the Regions

Keynote Speech by Rana Ayyub, Journalist, Washington Post

Rana Ayyub Rana Ayyub
09:55 - 10:20 Committee of the Regions

Context Session: Shada Islam Interviews Richard Youngs, Senior fellow, Carnegie Europe and Jerzy Pomianowski, Executive Director, European Endowment for Democracy

Jerzy Pomianowski Jerzy Pomianowski
Richard Youngs Richard Youngs
Shada Islam Shada Islam
10:20 - 11:30 Committee of the Regions

International Panel on Democracy in Era of Geopolitics

In this inaugural session of the 2022 edition of International Democracy Day in Brussels, experts will lay out the geopolitical context of this watershed moment for democracy and high-level representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America will discuss possible solutions to the challenges of this new era of geopolitics.

Christina Kokkinakis Christina Kokkinakis
Imad Daimi Imad Daimi
David Salvo David Salvo
Shada Islam Shada Islam
Rana Ayyub Rana Ayyub
11:30 - 11:45 Committee of the Regions

Coffee Break

11:45 - 13:00 Committee of the Regions

EU Presidencies and the EU External Democracy Agenda: Seizing Momentum for Democratic Change (International IDEA)

This workshop aims at gathering insights on the EU democracy agenda 2022 and 2023 and recommendations from the Brussels democracy community and stakeholders for shaping future agendas. The session will be moderated on the basis of guiding questions.

Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin
Neal Mac Call Neal Mac Call
David Červenka David Červenka
13:00 - 14:00 Committee of the Regions

Lunch Break and Registration for Afternoon Session

14:00 - 16:00 Committee of the Regions

The 50%’s Voice: Launch of the Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort (EPD)

The European Commission and the European Partnership for Democracy have launched the Youth Political and Civic Engagement Cohort as part of the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action to take action toward implementing Summit for Democracy commitments on youth political and civic engagement. This session will launch the Youth Cohort and discuss avenues for meaningful dialogue and collaboration between many types of actors working to advance democratic participation of youth across the globe. Bringing together youth activists in the EU and globally as well as key decision-makers involved in youth engagement worldwide, this session will be an opportunity for debate and collaboration on the issue of youth political engagement. It will be livestreamed here

Qyira Yusri Qyira Yusri
Jutta Urpilainen Jutta Urpilainen
Valeriu Drăgălin Valeriu Drăgălin
Ken Godfrey Ken Godfrey
Bama Athreya Bama Athreya
Aisha Dabo Aisha Dabo
11:00 - 12:30 Online

Hybrid Threats to Democracy (ENoP)

With the urgency to stand for democracy, this session will explore the non-military notion of ‘’hybrid threats to democracy’’. It will bring representatives from the EU institutions and experts from political foundations and their partners to discuss how to respond to disinformation threats and foreign election interventions. It will also look into our role as political foundations in empowering civil society and political actors in facing such realities, and discuss the role of China and Russia in this new geopolitical context

Ivana Karaskova Ivana Karaskova
Milosz Hodun Milosz Hodun
Milan Jovanović Milan Jovanović
Lisa Gürth Lisa Gürth