International Democracy Day: Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Vice-President Šuica *
On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the European Union reaffirms its unwavering commitment to support and defend democracy, based on universal human rights, at home and beyond its borders.
Democracy has transformed and improved societies around the globe. However, the erosion of democracy and human rights is a reality that spares no one.
Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is also an attack on democracy and the rules-based order. The European Union, its Member States, and democracies from all over the world have rallied to support Ukraine, recognising that the founding principles of our societies are at stake.
No democracy is immune to the challenges we face today. We must always stay vigilant and act upon the continued efforts to attack the rule of law, suppress civil liberties, manipulate elections, and repress civil society.
As authoritarian regimes develop and spread false narratives presenting themselves as easy alternatives to democracies, we should not underestimate the nefarious potential of information manipulation and disinformation activities.
Inclusiveness is democracy's strength. When people across all generations are able to use their freedoms and rights to participate and engage in their societies, they can push back against authoritarianism. We are determined to protect the democratic institutions that underpin our democracy. That protection goes hand-in-hand with deepening our engagement with citizens to build democratic resilience.
Our commitment to inclusiveness is illustrated by our innovations on citizen engagement within the European Union through citizen panels, building on the success of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Innovations in our democratic ecosystem allow us to share lessons learnt with others, as we learn lessons from others too. In addition, our global work to empower women, youth and children to participate in public affairs and decision making is an investment in the future. This links to the importance of transmitting basic values and endowing citizens with the skills necessary to engage in and uphold democracy.
The European Union will continue to engage with countries across the world to join forces with those who believe in democratic principles and values across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and Europe. We must persist in our efforts to find common ground and interests with our partners.
More than ever, we need to actively support countries with democratic openings and continue equipping ourselves with agile and flexible support mechanisms, including through the multilateral system.
Because, together, we build democracy. Together, we defend democracy. Together, we uphold the universality of human rights.
* Updated on 14/09/2023, at 18:17.