2022 has been a year of a serious authoritarian assault —embodied by the Russia’s attack on Ukraine— on democracy, human rights, and the global liberal order. This assault, however, has many more forms: the form of PRC’s growing threats to democratic Taiwan, the form of unbearable human rights violations in Iran, the form of the military oppression in Myanmar, where its junta will soon start the third year of its bloody rule, or the form of the ever more overwhelming and ever more brutal Ortega family-run dictatorship in Nicaragua. Authoritarians also continue to undermine democracies internally, sometimes weaponizing technology, abusing democratic institutions, or penetrating the democracies’ open information space.
But 2022 has also been a year of great hope. The courage and determination of Ukrainians and their president have inspired the best in our societies. Once again, we see much of the democratic world standing united, aware of the need to jointly face the mounting challenges.
Not all is bright, but overall, the perspectives at the end of 2022 seem better than at the year’s beginning. Let’s all make sure that 2022 is marked in history as the year when democrats around the world have retaken the initiative. Let’s remain hopeful and united and freedom and democracy will prevail!
As the end of the year is approaching, we cannot forget to highlight our biggest and most important annual event – the Forum 2000 Conference.
Read the Prague Manifesto for a Free Ukraine
Read the 5 Big Ideas and watch the video
Check out the photo gallery to feel the atmosphere of the event once again.
Read the publications from 2022 and two policy papers from our 26th Forum 2000 Conference in Prague:
A Democratic Roadmap for Ukraine | September 27, 2022
The Way Forward for Ukrainian Refugees in Central and Eastern Europe | November 9, 2022
In this month’s #Forum2000online chats:
“Housing, education, and health care are particularly problematic right now”, says Masha Volynsky in this #Forum2000online Chat. Ms. Volynsky, from the Agency for Migration and Adaption AMIGA, Czechia, joined Hrishabh Sandilya, a Senior Programme Manager with the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), to talk about the key issues that policymakers, philanthropy and civil society should consider as they continue to support Ukrainian refugees in Central and Eastern Europe.
“You cannot have a successful physical reconstruction in any sustainable, durable way without having well-functioning pluralistic institutions”, says Richard Youngs in this #Forum2000online Chat. Mr. Youngs, a Senior Fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at Carnegie Europe and an ICDR Member, joined Martin Ehl, journalist and author working at Czech Economic daily Hospodářské noviny, to talk about the democracy-related priorities from among the large number of issues that future support to Ukraine will need to encompass.
Zhang Zhan is a Chinese citizen journalist and former lawyer. She travelled to Wuhan in February 2020 and reported on the impact of the lockdown measures imposed in the city in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. She questioned the handling of the crisis by authorities and was detained in May 2020. Zhang Zhan was tortured and sentenced in December 2020 to four years in prison on the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.
As the two-year anniversary of Zhang Zhan’s imprisonment approaches, members of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal and the Forum 2000 network have decided to express their solidarity.
Remembering Václav Havel
Playwright, dissident, former president and founder of the Forum 2000 Václav Havel passed away 11 years ago on December 18, 2011, but his legacy lives on in the free world and in the minds and hearts of millions of people around the globe.
Havel, who was at the forefront of the Velvet Revolution that freed Czechoslovakia from decades of totalitarian communist rule, became President of the newly independent country and an inspiring leader.
In these challenging times, if we really want to renew democracy, let us remember Havel’s words on recovering the true meaning of politics:
“Politics is a matter of servicing the community, which means that it is morality in practice”