Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission issued a statement to mark the International Day of Democracy on Thursday.
In the statement co-signed by European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica and Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, they warned that democracy is under threat.
“The events we have been witnessing over the past year are a stark reminder of the threats that democracy faces across the globe,” they stressed.
“By launching a brutal war against Ukraine, [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin unleashed an unjustified aggression against a free and sovereign democratic European country, and a violent attack on the international rules-based order,” the statement reads.
EC’s commitment to democracy
The two officials pointed out that the EC is committed to protection of democracy “in the EU and beyond,” pointing out that it is “offering Ukraine comprehensive support: humanitarian, financial, political and military.”
They expressed belief that Ukraine’s determination to implement reforms needed to join the bloc will “help to win the peace” and reminded that the EU imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia.
Šuica and Borrell stressed that the EC is cooperating with its partners to defend human rights and democracy more assertively, adding “we stand with all the courageous people around the world who fight for their civil liberties on a daily basis, for human rights, for the rule of law, for free and independent media, often at great personal risk.”
They reminded that the EC launched the Conference on the Future of Europe which concluded in May 2022, describing it as “a unique exercise in deliberative democracy, held on a scale never seen before.”
The conference provided EU citizens and opportunity to make an impact on policy-making in the bloc, the two officials noted and added that EC President Ursula von der Leyen recently announced such conferences would “become a regular feature of our democratic life.”
They pointed out that the EC is committed to empowering young people “to shape and steer the future of democracy” and expressed belief that democracy needs to change.
“Together, we can build a democracy fit for the future,” they concluded.