Saturday

2nd Jul 2022

Livestream

Unhack Democracy Conference

  • The trend away from democracy in Europe, and towards hybrid-regimes that openly challenge the rule of law, makes the need to defend the institutions and processes that safeguard democracy more important than ever (Photo: Unhack Democracy)
Listen to article

Elections are the bedrock of democracy. Yet threats to electoral integrity extend far beyond the ballot box, from political financing to state capture of democratic institutions and media to disinformation.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine shows what happens when authoritarianism and democratic decline is allowed to grow unchecked.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

This trend away from democracy in Europe, and towards hybrid-regimes that openly challenge the rule of law, makes the need to defend the institutions and processes that safeguard democracy more important than ever.

Yet while responsibility for solving these problems is most often sought at a government or even transnational level, in many cases it is domestic grassroots organisations, driven by the need to adapt to address specific problems quickly, that are most effective at developing innovative solutions to counter instances of democratic rollback.

That is why we are hosting the inaugural Unhack Democracy Conference 2022, in partnership with Romanian NGO Funky Citizens, to bring together a New Generation of activists, civil society, election watchdog and pro-democracy groups with diplomats, academics, journalists and politicians focused on defending electoral integrity in the Black Sea Region, Belarus, Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

By re-framing the conversation around the role of democracy, identifying cross-border trends and sharing innovative best practice solutions, we hope to provide a platform to safeguard electoral integrity and strengthen democracy through civic engagement across the region.

Defend democracy and it will defend you

Available to watch live online at EUobserver between 9.30am and 12.30 CET on Tuesday (21 June), the conference will open with a keynote address by Olga Aivazovska, head of the Ukrainian Civil Network OPORA, arguing the vital importance of democracy security.

This will be followed by a discussion on the emergence of so-called 'hybrid regimes' as the prevailing form of governance in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Speakers will analyse the deadly consequences of this trend towards authoritarianism in the region — playing out in Ukraine today — and how civil society can work to reverse electoral and institutional engineering and rebuild trust in democratic institutions.

The second panel on defining and defending democracy in the digital age will explore what the rise of digital platforms in the political sphere and a new generation of tech-savvy political actors mean for 'democracy' and what civil society is doing to counter disinformation, improve transparency around the financing of online campaigns and political advertising, and help election management bodies move with the times.

The afternoon's sessions, including a dedicated panel on innovative citizen engagement strategies developed by Belarusian civil society, rethinking election observation in the EU and how to make democracy sexy again will be available to watch live on Unhack Democracy's channels.

Author bio

Elliott Goat is a co-founder and director of Unhack Democracy.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

Democracy dies in darkness

As the Washington Post's header always reads "Democracy Dies in Darkness". The biggest threat to a dictator like Vladimir Putin is an informed populace. Let us do everything we can to make that threat loom larger.

Column

Where could democracy rebound in 2022?

In Hungary, Fidesz has barricaded itself behind a thick net of legal rules and captured institutions. If there are controversies about the April's election result, we may have a full-blown crisis in the middle of the EU.

The CPDP conference wants multidisciplinary digital future

During the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference, many high-level discussions will touch upon the dynamics of decision-making in the design of new technologies, including the importance of inclusion, diversity, and ethics perspectives within these processes.

EU, wake up! Don't leave West Balkans to Russia or China

Russia's attack on Ukraine and European values must remind us how important the enlargement process is, if properly conducted, as a motor for democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and prosperity, write six S&D MEPs.

Dialogue and action – Nordic cooperation and view on COP26

Nordic countries launched several initiatives at the COP26 climate conference which will have a real impact on the ground. Nordic and UK pension funds are to invest billions in clean energy and climate initiatives. Greenland has joined the Paris Agreement.

News in Brief

  1. EU Parliament 'photographs protesting interpreters'
  2. Poland still failing to meet EU judicial criteria
  3. Report: Polish president fishing for UN job
  4. Auditors raise alarm on EU Commission use of consultants
  5. Kaliningrad talks needed with Russia, says Polish PM
  6. Report: EU to curb state-backed foreign takeovers
  7. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  8. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways
  2. Czech presidency to fortify EU embrace of Ukraine
  3. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief
  4. EU pollution and cancer — it doesn't have to be this way
  5. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  6. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  7. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  8. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us