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The Summit for Democracy Is a Good Start—But What Comes Next?

Max Bergmann of the Center for American Progress addresses some common criticisms of the Summit, arguing that the initiative is a valuable effort that holds great potential for supporting democracy. Success hinges on the momentum set off by the initiative for leaders to feel empowered and democracies across the globe to support each other in a way that delivers tangible results.

Three criticisms are mainly levelled against the Summit: that it focusses too much on participating with democracies, and working with non-democracies should also be a priority; that the US should not be attempting to promote democracy globally while suffering problems at home; and issues with the list of invitees. In response, Bergmann argues that the US already works extensively with non-democracies, and that the Summit in fact gives democracies well-deserved recognition, that the US facing similar issues at home is all the more reason to hold the Summit and work together towards solutions for collective challenges, and that countries cared if they were invited or not, drawing more attention to the international benefits of a democratic system.

The goal over the Year of Action heading up to the 2022 Summit should be to "deliver an in-person Summit (Covid-19 permitting) that provides developing democracies some tangible benefits, such as development assistance, COVID-19 support, infrastructure financing, trade, visa preferences, and more."

Read the full piece at the Center for American Progress website here.