"The liberty of a nation is preserved not only by the laws but by public information and knowledge as to how they are being administered."

Chydenius Foundation co-founder of Democracy Network 21

Published: 07.12.2020


Democracy is being challenged by globalization, digitalization and the ongoing COVID-19-pandemic. This is why the Anders Chydenius Foundation is today launching a new network on democracy in co-operation with the Hanaholmen Cultural Centre for Sweden and Finland, Åland Islands Peace Institute and Lund University.

Former Ministers Margot Wallström (Sweden) and Jyrki Katainen (Finland) are honorary members of the network and were today granted the Anders Chydenius Award for their efforts in democracy promotion.

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The network is called Democracy Network 21 and will ensure that more people talk about democracy in the Nordic region. It consists of some
100 personalities both from Finland, Sweden and Åland representating different fields of societal life.

Focus on Nordic and Europe


In addition to Nordic democracy discussion, the network aims also to promote democracy discussion in the European Union.

Given clear examples of democratic backsliding, increasing authoritarian tendencies in many countries and rising hybrid influencing, there is a need for continued EU leadership and for enhanced EU action to make democracy thrive in the world. Democratic development has been in decline. At the same time, many autocracies are expanding their powers even if pro-democracy resistance is also growing. Hybrid influencing and digital surveillance are undermining the integrity of democratic processes. One can find these tendencies in democracy reports by International IDEA, V-Dem Institute, Freedom House and The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The pandemic has posed new challenges to liberal democracy and to democracy support, as reflected in A Call to Defend Democracy by major leaders and democratic organisations, a recent study published by the European Endowment for Democracy and partners and a new paper by the European Partnership for Democracy. The European Commission has also partnered with International IDEA to develop the Global Monitor of Covid-19´s Impact on Democracy and Human Rights.

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