How can one coordinate a global alliance of democracies to effectively tackle the current world challenges such as authoritarianism, security threats, and widespread technology? The role of the US as a global leader in human rights matters is of primary importance. Its allies in Europe and Asia need to work together to create a strong league of democracies along with the implementation of coherent policies to strengthen democracy.
The twenty-fifth edition of the Forum 2000 was opened last Sunday, October 10th, by Jakub Klepal, Executive Director of the Foundation, who introduced the meeting “Is Global Alliance of Democracy Donors Possible?” at the SmetanaQ Gallery in Prague. Klepal focused on the possible global cooperation of democracies concerning their current worldwide deterioration. Discussions on democracy supported by donors are dated. However, the perspective on how to strengthen it today is more capital than ever due to the challenges posed by authoritarian and illiberal governments.
An issue that was put forth by Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow of the Carnegie Europe, who introduced the concept of a global alliance of democratic donors. Youngs stressed that the main problems in building this alliance are related to the objectives of the league itself. “Today, the situation of democracies worldwide is different from what it was years ago.” The rise of China and the unregulated big tech make a global alliance of democracies much needed. “There are thousands of activities of donors,” but “the significant aspect is that they focus on the security dimension, and not on the democracy one.” How can the alliance be effective is another question, as well as the role the US intends to play to strengthen it. “Narratives cannot be limited to the fact that ‘the US is back’,” Youngs warns.
Coherent political actions are needed and, to be effective, the defense of democracy must have clear objectives. “An alliance of democracies must be flexible,” but it should be also considered that “not every country will be committed to joining it.” Youngs formulates the necessity to build a new agile and coordinated league of democracies, warning that “global summits give political inputs but might create political backlashes as well.” It might take time but coordinating relations among states might help in creating a small community of democracy and support reforms locally.
“Building an alliance of democracies is possible, but many challenges lie ahead,” warns Ketty W. Chen, Vice President of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. She reported on the current Taiwanese administration’s progress and the consolidation of the country’s internal political freedom, gender equality, and labor rights. “The Taiwanese government is committed to improving democracy,” Chen explains. However, “the issue on how to finance it is not a secondary one.” Democracy is strengthened by working with allies and building worldwide connections. Founding independent associations promoting democracies, both locally and abroad, as well as promoting civil society’s movements is crucial today.
Cooperating with Asia in this sense, the speaker hopes, “is something I hope it will be working out.” Particularly, “Taiwan is standing in the front line of democracy,” and it tries to preserve this form of government and its citizen’s freedom and sovereignty too. Taiwan experienced and is resisting rising Chinese political intimidations and military pressures. Effective cooperation with the democratic alliances would be most welcome on the island. Taiwanese people, Chen confirms, are still fiercely willing to defend their country. Although “democracy has weaknesses and issues, it is the system Taiwanese people intend to preserve in the future.” They know the alternative of authoritarianism.
(Published on amedeogasparini.com)