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Democracy Under Threat: from local to international, nothing about us without us!

24 March 2023

The Dutch ‘Democratie onder Druk’ coalition consists of a variety of democracy organisations, which have been joining forces for a year and a half to protect, strengthen, renew and improve democracy – anywhere in the world. Indeed, all over the world, democracy is under threat. Too many people feel unheard, more and more activists are persecuted when they stand up for their rights, more than ever, authoritarian and non-authoritarian politicians adapt laws to make democracy work for them instead of citizens.

On Monday 27 March (in the evening from 19:30 – 21:30 CET), we will discuss this importance of strengthening and renewing democracy both in Amsterdam Southeast, as in the Netherlands and the rest of the world. Democracy is the best way to serve people’s interests and the best guarantee of achieving peace. “Nothing about us, without us!” is our motto in this regard.

On 10 November last year, we as a coalition presented a manifesto at the Democracy under Threat conference. This contained calls to put democracy as a subject much higher on the agenda (also in the Netherlands), to strengthen the rule of law (the government should protect residents better from that same government) and to fight corruption much more firmly, to establish an independent fund that organisations that want to strengthen democracy can make use of, to give more support to dissidents and fighters for democracy and human rights, to deploy more direct democratic procedures, to create more civic education and inclusiveness and to include a structural place in policy processes for future generations.

The meeting takes place as part of the global Summit for Democracy organised by US President Joe Biden. In the last week of March, meetings on how democracy can and should be strengthened are taking place worldwide. We are part of the global Partners for Democracy Day on 27 March, in which international civil society will organise more than 60 events!

The Dutch ‘Democratie onder Druk’ coalition will organise a series of meetings from Monday 20 March, of which the meeting on Monday evening 27 March will be the last one before the global Summit on 29 and 30 March next, where we will also be present! You are invited to join us on Monday evening.

To register to come in-person click here (registration link is in Dutch).

The event is also streamed on Zoom:

Meeting ID: 895 8261 9185
Passcode: 270323


19.00 Doors open
19.30 Welcome and opening by Dion van den Berg, programme manager ‘Democracy
under Threat.’

19.40 1st part: Local Democracy in Amsterdam Southeast
Conversation with Tanja Jadnanansingh, Eefje Steenvoorden (UvA) and Younes
Douari (founder of #RepresentJezelf), moderated by Niesco Dubbelboer (Meer
20.20 Video with overview of our other meetings, made by Astrid Davtian

20.30 2nd part: The importance of local democracy in the Netherlands and worldwide
Moderated by Kirsten Meijer (NHC) explicitly addresses a number of points from the
manifesto to the panel with coalition members Bart Vollebergh (TI NL), Cecile Meijs
(The Hague Academy for Local Governance) and Niesco Dubbelboer (Meer
Democratie). Focused on garnering support for the manifesto’s spearheads.

20.50 3rd part: Democracy in the world
Moderated by Kirsten Meijer, we address a number of points from the manifesto
explicitly to the panel with coalition members Guido de Graaf Bierbrauwer (PAX for
Peace) and Henk Jan Ormel (Eduardo Frei Foundation, CDA). Focused on garnering
support for the manifesto’s spearheads.

21.10 Conclusions and how to proceed?
From the coalition, we outline the next steps. Kido Koenig (director FMS interviews
programme manager Dion van den Berg (PAX for Peace). What points will the
coalition take to the Summit? What are the follow-up steps afterwards regarding the
democracy fund and our manifesto?

21.20 Closure and drinks