The Summit

22nd of June 2018

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit is dedicated to strengthening the resolve of the world’s democracies by providing a high-level strategic forum exclusively focused on the cause of democracy. The chief hallmark of the Summit is a dedication to vigorous debate and viewpoint diversity based on the belief that good ideas are born when strongly held views are allowed to clash – especially among participants who share a broad commitment to democracy and open debate.

The Foundation recognizes the positive symbiosis between democracy and business and believes that democratically elected leaders and global business executives will benefit from a greater level of personal interaction. Allowing the participants to build strong personal relationships is a vital element of the Summit and of realizing the long-term goal of a stronger alliance of the world’s democracies.

2018 Summit highlights


The inaugural Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018 will focus on democracy and technology, as well as democracy and trade. The Summit will feature a long range of interesting topics to be discussed, including:

  • Building an Alliance of Democracies
  • Technology and democracy
  • Fake news and free speech
  • Cyber security and democracy
  • The future of global trade
  • Nurturing democracy through economic development

The Summit has a very strong line-up of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic, and have deliberately sought speakers from across the political spectrum. Whatever differences we may have, we all share the love of the democratic process that enables us to debate and discuss these viewpoints without fear and in the open.

Speakers and Participants

Speakers at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit include former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, former President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former Prime Minister of Spain, José Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, American Economist and Entrepreneur, Professor, Carl Schramm, CEO of BenevolentAI, Joanna Shields, VP of Global Policy Solutions at Facebook, Richard Allan, CEO of Codewise, Robert Gryn, President of the Global Fairness Initiative, Karen Tramontano, VP of EU Government Affairs at Microsoft, John Frank, former US Secretary for Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, former editor-in-chief of BILD, Tanit Koch, among many others.

The conference will bring together political figures from the democratic world, including current and former heads of government, as well as leading business executives, academic experts, and dissidents.

Press Release

Democracy Perception Index 2018

The largest single global study measuring citizens’ trust in government indicates democracies are facing a severe crisis of faith in the eyes of the public. The Democracy Perception Index 2018 (DPI) finds that a majority of people living in democracies are disillusioned with the idea that their government is formed “by the people” and works “for the people.” The DPI, conducted by Dalia Research in collaboration with the Alliance of Democracies and Rasmussen Global, is based on nationally representative interviews with over 125,000 respondents in 50 countries worldwide.

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Building an Alliance of Democracies

The first panel discussion at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit will be hosted by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution and feature prominent politicians from some of the world’s leading democracies, who will discuss how we can build friendships that realize our ambition of bringing together an international alliance of democracies:

  • José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain
  • Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico
  • Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister of the UK
  • Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia

The panel discussion is part of a special production of “Uncommon Knowledge,” a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world.

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit

Joe Biden will speak in Copenhagen

Former Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, will deliver a keynote speech at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018 on June 22. We are honored and very pleased that Joe Biden will support the Alliance of Democracies Foundation with his participation at the Summit and his membership of the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity. We look forward to welcoming Joe Biden to Copenhagen.

Key topics

The post-World War II international order based on democracy and free trade has come under increasing pressure in recent years from rising autocracies and terrorist organizations.

Political, business and thought leaders will discuss how we can engage democracy supporters worldwide, enhance our economic ties, and invigorate free trade and mutual investments.


Copenhagen, Denmark, The Royal Danish Playhouse

As an easily accessible and highly attractive city, Copenhagen is the ideal home for the Summit. The capital of Denmark symbolizes the country’s traditions of both national pride and engagement with the world as well as a long history of vigorous democratic debate. The Royal Danish Playhouse, where the Summit will take place, is beautifully situated on the harbor front near the city center.

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Supporters of the Alliance of Democracies play a vital role in enabling us to run effective initiatives and to host a Summit of high quality, that ensures an open debate about important aspects of a democratic future. We would like to thank all our supporters for their contribution.