MEMO #7: Lisbeth Pilegaard

“The success and development of our democracy depend on the success and development of democracy globally”
– Lisbeth Pilegaard


What characteristic of democracies deserve greater awareness or appreciation?


Read Lisbeth Pilegaard’s answer: 
 We cannot or should not take democracy for granted. We need to cater for, support, challenge, develop and strengthen our democracy every day. The success and development of our democracy depend on the success and development of democracy globally. We are interconnected; thus, this aspect of democracy needs more attention and appreciation.
After years of optimism and democratic blossoming, the iron fist of autocracy is now prevailing again. In recent years, a wave of coup d’états has brought new uncertainty to, for example, the Sahel region, which was already struggling to manage the growing implications of climate change, terrorism, and corruption. Now three of the coup-ridden countries have even formed a defence alliance to push the boundaries of their non-democratic power. In 2021, the military retook power in Myanmar and threw the careful progress towards multiparty democracy aside to wage war on its own population. More than a staggering 70% of the world’s population now lives in autocracies.
From a European perspective, these events proved to be a prelude to the re-emergence of war on European soil. As Putin ordered the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, he also pushed aside 30 years of post-USSR diplomacy. Against this gloomy backdrop, DIPD is determined to bolster the connection between Danish political parties and political parties and organisations internationally via strong partnerships. Partnerships based on reciprocity and equal learning are a strong method for countering the democratic decline. When politicians meet each other across countries they can unite in the common fight for a stronger and better democracy and learn from and inspire each other.
Open Society Foundations just launched their Open Society Barometer with the question of ‘Democracy can deliver’? A pertinent and relevant question to ask. 86 % of the respondents answered that they want to live in a democratic state. Because they believe and see that democratic leaders and societies provide better conditions for their populations. Looking at the renowned research institution V-Dem and their research on the ‘Case for Democracy’ – it is evident that democratic societies provide better health care, more stability, less violence, and financial better options than non-free societies.
While there is a staggering push by autocrats and the likes to gain and maintain power we need to work much more together across sectors and countries to counter the autocrats. Democrats unite – it’s high time to go on the offensive for democracy.