Director for Europe, International IDEA
Sam van der Staak is the Director for Europe at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). His work focuses on responding to democratic developments in Europe, with a special emphasis on the topics of political parties, money in politics, and ICT in democracy. Van der Staak manages International IDEA's Regional Europe Programme, in which capacity he leads International IDEA’s representation to the European Union in Brussels. Sam has been involved in International IDEA publications on Cybersecurity in elections, Citizen movements, Money in politics, and Political party dialogue. He makes regular media contributions for national and international media.
With democracy in decline over 17 years and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine putting democracy at the top of policy agenda in Europe and the US, the concurrent rise in autocracy is providing a new sense of urgency to democracies worldwide. During this session, the speakers will address what this era of democratic rest means for EU policy, democracy support and activism worldwide. With Helena König (EEAS), McDonald Lewanika, (Accountability Lab South Africa), Sam van der Staak (International IDEA) and Hardy Merriman (International Center on Nonviolent Conflict). Moderated by Shada Islam.