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Threats to Democracy in Eastern Europe-Ambassador Jerzy Pomianowski
April 5 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am$15
In too many places, democracy is in recession or has suffered serious setbacks. Authoritarian rule has deepened. Regimes are becoming increasingly strident in their attempts to cripple civil society and muzzle free speech. Ever more sophisticated disinformation campaigns designed and spread by Putin’s info-guerillas seek to undermine democratic values and discredit those who stand up for them.
Can we do something about it? What if we let Putin and others poison millions of minds with toxic narratives and fake news?
The ultimate purpose of democracy is to create the conditions in which free citizens can pursue the most fulfilling lives possible, that they themselves choose. Good governance, freedom of expression, the rule of law and respect for the dignity, rights, hopes, and fears of individuals are what make societies truly democratic. Democracy support is critical from a strategic perspective as it aims at winning minds and hearts of people on the ground. Much of this work can only be achieved by genuine, local activists who can translate the strategic vision of the international democratic community into a local context relevant to ordinary people. How best we can support them, especially in eastern Europe, remains a challenge.