The Copenhagen Democracy Summit

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.

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020

Check out our highlights from this year’s inspiring speakers all in support of defending democracy at our virtual edition of Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020.

We discussed how we need to come together in defense of democracy and freedom in order to face challenges related to the authoritarian resurgence by both China and Russia, the escalating tensions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the US’s role as a global leader and how tech can support democracy.

Watch the recap here.

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020

Day 2: Defending Democracy during COVID-19

On Friday, June 19th we hosted global leaders and democracy supporters including President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) 蔡英文 Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, Former US Secretary of States John Kerry and Madeleine Albright,  Australian Prime Minister (2015-2018) Malcolm Turnbull, Chairman of Novo Nordisk Lars Rebien Sørensen, Microsoft President Brad Smith and many more! 

The Summit was convened by the 12th NATO Secretary General (2009-2014) and 24th Danish Prime Minister (2001-2009) Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and moderated by Politico's Ryan Heath, former ABC and CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve and Lisbeth Knudsen, Editor-in-chief, Mandag Morgen.

Watch the full sessions here

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020

Day 1: Democracy in Action

On Thursday, June 18th the Copenhagen Democracy Summit dedicated several sessions to bolstering the work of democracy activists including Hong Kong freedom activist Joshua Wong and others from around the globe in collaboration with our democracy partner organisations: International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), George W. Bush Institute, and the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). In addition, we had three breakout sessions taking place at the same time featuring democracy defenders from our partner organizations.

-Breakout 1: Keeping Democracy Activism Alive during COVID-19. Sharing your Story
-Breakout 2: Elections and Disinformation Keeping on the Democratic Track during COVID-19
-Breakout 3: Ensuring Women’s Rights during a Pandemic

Watch the full sessions here

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020 will take place virtually on June 18-19, 2020. The summit will still gather guests from around the world to discuss the state of democracy. Guests include leaders and thinkers from business and politics, civil society, media, academics and students. General topics this year will focus on US global leadership and 2020 elections, democracy and tech, responsible business, and defending democracy during pandemic times. To find more information on the Summit here.

Register to join here.

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2020

Video

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2019

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2019 took place at the scenic Royal Danish Playhouse. The Summit highlighted important current issues facing the world’s democracies. The Summit successfully brought together 500 participants from over 75 different countries with a range of backgrounds from politics, business, academia and journalism.

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Video

Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018

The inaugural Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018 took place at the scenic Royal Danish Playhouse. The Summit successfully brought together more than 300 participants from over 40 different countries. Offering a variety of viewpoints, the discussions highlighted both the challenges for the 20 elections facing world democracies, but also the opportunities brought forward by technology and trade.

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Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2019

Discussion on global democracy

Former President of Malawi Joyce Banda, CEO of Rappler in the Philippines Maria Ressa, and former Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Dino Patti Djalal discuss the state of global democracy

Watch here

The Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018

Keynote address by Tony Blair

The Summit’s final keynote address by Tony Blair provided the audience important insights on our current democracies, emphasizing that we should not view out political opposition as enemies but rather opponents: “Democracy needs to revive its spirit. But it also needs to be muscular. Those who would weaken our democracy from within, should know they will face an adversary determined enough to wage this fight and smart enough to win it.” Blair also highlighted the important role of the Transatlantic Alliance in defense of liberal democracies stating that “we need to engage the minds and hearts of people. They need to hear arguments from a leadership willing to step out and not back.”

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The Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018

Opening Remarks by Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Anders Fogh Rasmussen commenced the first Copenhagen Democracy Summit with a strong address stating: “Today gives us an opportunity to recommit to principles that we often take for granted; freedom, democracy, open markets and open societies.”. The opening statement by the Chairman and Founder of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation displayed great determination and conviction emphasizing the need to continuously promote democracy: “We are here to make democracies great again”. In light of this, Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasized that the project of building an alliance of democracies is more important than ever.

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The Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2018

Joe Biden delivers keynote address

Joe Biden’s speech was a powerful testament to how defenders of democracies have to promote its core values especially in a time when it is challenged by authoritarian rule and populism. Biden highlighted the importance of citizen engagement in the democratic processes because “the threat isn’t just Russia. Authoritarianism is on the rise in every region.” Emphasizing the need to pursue the pillars of great democracies, Biden concluded with a strong statement: “Democracy demands diligence. Democracy demands engagement. And sometimes, democracy demands sacrifice of its citizens. That is how we keep it.”

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Foreign Policy Research Institute

Jack Tomarchio: Making Democracy Great Again

Board Member of the Center for Expeditionary Economics, Jack Thomas Tomarchio, reflects on the 2018 Copenhagen Democracy Summit: It wasn’t the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and it wasn’t meant to be. Bono wasn’t there, nor was Beyoncé, but former U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair were. The event was the first Copenhagen Democracy Summit held on June 22, 2018. No glam, no glitz, just serious policy discussions from an array of former and current world leaders to discuss the precipitous slide in democracy and democratic values the world over.

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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 was hosted by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution and featured prominent politicians from some of the world’s leading democracies, who discussed 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

Watch panel debate here

Supporters

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 current and previous supporters for their contributions.