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  • Warszawski Dialog na rzecz Demokracji

     

  • AKTUALNOŚCI

  • Zapraszamy do zapoznania się z rekomendacjami czwartej edycji Warszawskiego Dialogu na rzecz Demokracji, który odbył się w dniach 22-24 października 2015 r. pod tytułem "Demokracja na rozdrożu? Szanse i wyzwania".

     

     

    Recommendations

     

     

    1. Faith and trust in democracy in non-free societies must be restored. Due to a combination of factors including widespread propaganda activities, the image and credibility of democracy have been tarnished across the world. Many go as far as arguing that the Western model of democracy is about to collapse. Citizens of non-democratic regimes lost faith in change. Elections can bolster democracy but often they do not comply with international obligations and standards. Challenges to democracy are often deeply rooted in the lack of good governance and rule of law.
    2. Intensify actions aimed at strengthening civil society in order to counter the worrying trend of shrinking civic space. Civil society engagement is a prerequisite for sustainability of democratization processes. Citizens must play a central role in democracy. Currently, due to imposed restrictions and lack of security many NGOs and donors refrain from activities in certain countries (e.g. foreign agents laws). Comprehensive, long-term plans of supporting civil society are required.
    3. International community, in particular European donors, should redefine support policies with a view to enhancing their coherence, effectiveness and responsibility. A new paradigm of supporting democracy is needed. The current concept needs to be revisited in order to achieve better results.
    4. Democracy and human rights cannot be subjected to geopolitics or economic interests. Questioning or undermining democratic values and human rights principles is unacceptable. Human rights must always prevail over geopolitical and commercial interests of states. Regardless of geographic region, cultural context or religion, universal and unalienable human rights constitute the pillar of a democratic state.
    5. Flourishing democracy needs a space for dialogue. Free speech is an essential element of democracy and it contributes to the quality of government. Democracy is a constant work in progress where solving differences takes place through inclusive dialogue. Plurality of views and respect for critical opinions are the cornerstones of democracy.
    6. Access to free and independent sources of information needs to be ensured. We observe with great concern the influence of propaganda of certain regimes. Supporting objective media, independent journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders is crucial for building democratic culture. Well-informed citizens hold government accountable. Democracy cannot work in the absence of independent media.
    7. In democratic societies freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief can both be guaranteed. These are mutually reinforcing values and when upheld together, they both result in rendering society more pluralistic. Freedom of religion cannot be used as an excuse to limit the freedom of expression and vice versa.
    8. Encourage the change of discriminatory practices and laws against women with a view to promoting women’s active participation in public affairs. In many parts of the world women suffer from unlawful treatment and violence. The ongoing change of perception of women’s role in politics and public life need to be followed with concrete legal action and the creation of effective systems of safeguarding women’s rights and equality between women and men in public and private spheres.
    9. Ensure that victims of totalitarian regimes and their families have access to full and reliable information on the fate of their loved ones. Settlement with the past, although painful, cannot be omitted in the process of democratization. Successful transition requires also promoting reconciliation within societies. Access to information, archives and public documents is instrumental in achieving truth and re-establishing trust in democratic state institutions.
    10. The potential offered by new technology tools for democracy support should be used reasonably. These technologies can contribute to a lasting democratic change if they are underpinned by democratic freedom of information laws, decriminalization of libel, protection against hate speech and independent judiciary, capable of protecting and upholding these legal principles and rights without undue pressure from governments. Online tools, internet and social media can be very beneficial for disseminating information i.a. on prodemocracy campaigns. However, one should not forget that access to technologies and the content of the internet can also be controlled by authoritarian regimes and used to manipulate democratic activists. Online activities should be seen as complementary and not as a substitute for offline actions.

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