Back to overview

International Democracy Day Brussels 2023

On 14 and 15 September 2023, International IDEA and its partners, the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) and Carnegie Europe, organised the 2023 edition of the International Democracy Day Brussels.

More than 120 representatives from democracy organisations as well as practitioners, policymakers, activists, academics and other stakeholder gathered to discuss how a new wave of civic activism has met the challenge of rising authoritarianism worldwide and how the international community, especially the European Union (EU), can deepen ties with global pro-democracy movements.

Inclusivity was a key theme of the discussions, with speakers emphasising the importance of bringing in the voices of young people and from the Global South. Democracy support should be flexible and agile, avoiding one-size-fits all approaches and tailored to local contexts, while also coordinating internationally. These efforts can be supported through a universal narrative on democracy that demonstrates how it can deliver to citizens, and by building bridges between civil society and governments and between existing international efforts to support democracy. A concrete opportunity to revitalize democracy presents itself in the upcoming Summit for Democracy, a global effort initiated by the United States to bring together its partners around defending and promoting democracy. The Third Summit will be organised by the Republic of Korea in March 2024.

First insights were provided by Byongjo Kang, Deputy Head of Preparatory Office for the Third Summit for Democracy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, on the organization of the third Summit by the Republic of Korea: the central theme will be ‘Democracy for future generations’ and the Summit will be held in March 2024 for three days. The third Summit will further include plenary sessions and meetings for other stakeholders, with each co-hosting country asked to present the outcomes of their regional plenaries. It is hoped that the Summit will result in a declaration on democracy for future generations.

More detail was given on the novelties of the third Summit, including on the more prominent role that will be given to the work of the Democracy Cohorts, a diverse group of stakeholders including governments, civil society and the private sector to support the implementation of commitments in their issue area of interest. The discussion recognised their work as particularly important to the Summit process, as their work directly connects governments and civil society and helps to include more voices in the discussion, especially from the Global South. Each of the cohorts will be expected to produce a report with recommendations, to be presented at the plenary session by Cohort representatives. A coordination mechanism is being considered to ensure the sustainability of these works beyond the third Summit.

For a full summary of the second day of discussions we invite you to visit the full article on International IDEA's website.