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Coalition for Democratic Renewal launch in Prague

© Forum 2000

The Coalition aims to revitalise the democratic idea. It was formally launched on 10 October 2017, as part of the annual Forum 2000 Conference, with EED Executive Director, Jerzy Pomianowski, amongst the signatories.

The Coalition for Democratic Renewal (CDR) is a global initiative of a group of intellectuals, activists, and politicians, concerned with the expansion of power and influence of authoritarian regimes and the simultaneous weakening of democratic systems from within.

The CDR aims to reaffirm the fundamental principles of democracy, to go on the offensive against the authoritarian opponents of democracy, and to demonstrate solidarity with the brave people who are fighting for freedoms in undemocratic systems around the world.

The founding document of CDR is the “Prague Appeal”, issued in Prague on 26 May 2017, which calls for a new campaign in defence of liberal democracy, today under threat.

“The starting point of a new campaign for democracy is a reaffirmation of the fundamental principles that have inspired the expansion of modern democracy since its birth more than two centuries ago.

“These principles are rooted in a belief in the dignity of the human person and in the conviction that liberal democracy is the political system that can best safeguard this dignity and allow it to flourish.”

From the Prague Appeal for Democratic Renewal (Read the full text here). 

CDR members include Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, writer, political scientist and philosopher Francis Fukuyama, Russian chess grandmaster and political activist Garry Kasparov, French philosopher Bernard-Hénri Levy, journalist and author Anne Applebaum, youth activist Rosa María Payá, and Ivan Havel, scientist and brother of the late Czech President Václav Havel. EED Executive Director, Jerzy Pomianowski, is also amongst the signatories.

At the time of the launch, the number of signatories amounted to 180.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To develop and strengthen the CDR platform which will serve as a moral and intellectual catalyst for the revitalization of the democratic idea.
  • To serve as interactive forum for the exchange of ideas about the best ways to address complex new challenges facing democracy such as static or declining living standards for many citizens, the backlash against increased immigration, the rise of “post-truth politics” in an age of social media, and the erosion of support for liberal democracy.
  • To enhance public awareness and carry out educational activities for the public, students and civil society.

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The Forum 2000 Conference 2017 attracted a number of prominent thought leaders, Nobel laureates, politicians, business leaders for discussions under the banner of “Strengthening Democracy in Uncertain Times.”

The Forum 2000 Foundation pursues the legacy of late activist and former Czech President Václav Havel by supporting the values of democracy and respect for human rights, assisting the development of civil society, and encouraging religious, cultural and ethnic tolerance. These values are at the core of the democracy support mandate of the European Endowment for Democracy.