Democracy Under Threat – Call to Action

Democracy is under threat. We present 16 key recommendations on how to improve democracy at home and abroad.

These recommendations were created at the ‘Democracy Under Threat’ conference on the 10th of november in The Hague by 150+ civil society representatives. We call upon the government to take seriously this input from Dutch and European civil society organisations, and take our demands to the Second Summit for Democracy taking place in Spring 2023.

  1. Develop, in a joint commitment between government and civil society organizations, an integrated long-term strategy for democracy support and promotion
  1. Establish a new position at Dutch government level and at EU-level for a Special Envoy for Democracy
  1. Make democracy central in foreign policy, climate agenda, peacebuilding, development aid and reconstruction, not subordinated to economic or (geo)political interests
  1. Defend and apply the EU Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism
  1. Create better, more direct democratic models of governing, such as citizens panels, assemblies and initiatives following the “nothing about us without us” principle 
  1. Design a national anti-corruption program, correcting (Dutch) laws facilitating international corruption
  1. Support more critical voices in autocracies and dissidents in diaspora
  1. Empower the next generation of active citizens through civic education, and empower the next generation politicians and civic activists through training, specifically underrepresented groups
  1. Shift more resources to pro-democracy actors at local and subnational levels
  1. Support sanctions but no total isolation of ordinary citizens – no new Cold War
  1. Put democracy, rule of law and human rights at the top of EU and CoE policy
  1. Include displaced communities and exiled professionals in a citizen-centered, bottom-up and inclusive reconstruction of Ukraine
  1. Increase the MATRA-NFRP grants for democracy in the European neighborhood
  1. Set up an independent Dutch fund for democracy, human rights, rule of law and anti-corruption.
  1. Include the interests of future generations in all their diversity in decision-making processes
  2. Fight technological threats to democracy and security, and use technologies that innovate, defend and strengthen democracy.

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