MP Mr Mihailo Anđušić participated at the international conference “EU leadership for democracy”, organised on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, by the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group of the European Parliament in cooperation with the European Commission and NGOs dealing with human rights issues.
The conference was opened by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ms Federica Mogherini, while the participants were also addressed by the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, former Vice-President of the European Parliament Mr Edward McMillan-Scott, representatives of the European Parliament, as well as international experts, EU policy makers, and academicians.
The conference participants especially focused on examining the current challenges to democracy, highlighting the difficulties faced today by democratically elected authorities in their efforts to maintain democratic capacity and to apply, tangibly and not just declaratively, the principles and values of democracy. In that sense, a clear message was sent that the preconditions of democracy and democratic processes were the strengthening of both the rule of law and the institutions, primarily the parliament and independent judiciary, providing protection to the most vulnerable groups in a society, freedom of speech and media, as well as unobstructed work of civil society organisations.
In view of recent geopolitical shifts, growing populism and isolationism, the resolve of the European Union and its institutions to prioritise their actions on all levels by placing human rights and the strengthening of democracy, both internally and outside the Union, at the top of their agenda, was particularly emphasised.
In separate panels, the participants discussed innovative practices for the promotion of democracy and models for wider involvement of citizens in political processes, the role of technology and the influence of social media on democratic processes, as well as the strengthening of democracy through women's leadership and more active engagement.