The upcoming European Parliament elections will be crucial for the future of the European Union. Various visions of our common future will compete. In the background, the strength of democracy, the rule of law and respect for diversity and minorities is at stake. The very basic values of the European project are questioned, including respect for civil liberties, freedom of expression and freedom of association.
The organisations that make up the European Partnership for Democracy experience the fight for democracy and freedom of many people and citizens in the world every day. We are providing them with skills and support in many ways for accompanying them in their endeavor. For all of us this means supporting the genuine role of parliaments and other elected institutions, free and fair elections, preserving the rights of minorities, insisting on freedom of information and the press, protecting universal human rights, and giving citizens the strength and empowerment for a participative and accountable democracy.
With our experience of what democracy is and brings to society, we view democracy as a key value of the European project. The risk of seeing democracy as a given in Europe must be avoided. Through our projects and advocacy at the national and local levels, we will be working to ensure that the preservation of civic space and freedom of association remains an important election issue. Democratic governance has been key to the success of European states and the long-lasting peace of the last 70 years. We can’t be credible in being a vehicle of democracy support in the world if we do not deliver in our homeland.
For the next European Parliament elections, EPD members are calling on all EU citizens to participate and to reaffirm the importance of democracy as a driving force for our communities, States and our collective future.