Annual Webinar 2021

On May 27th, 2021, the Oslo Center hosted the webinar «The Legacy of Democracies and Violation of Democratic Standards», to discuss the topics of democratic resilience and global cooperation. With the COVID-19 crisis, the rising threats and challenges to democracies have intensified. Seeing the situation in a time where the global state of democracies has encountered a prolonged decline worldwide during the last ten years, it is more crucial than ever to raise the questions of how we can protect, promote, and build democratic values. The webinar was moderated by the Norwegian journalist, Christian Borch.

In the event, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown presented his keynote speech on «Global Cooperation and International Progress». Multilateral cooperation is one of the cornerstones of well-functioning democracies and essential for any country to face global challenges even stronger. During the webinar, Brown emphasized further the importance of addressing underlying social and economic injustice, and great international cooperation in order for the progress of democratization to continue.

“We don’t just cooperate out of need; we have a human need to cooperate”
– Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

In the panel debate of the Oslo Center’s webinar, Executive Director of DIPD, Lisbeth Pilegaard, Executive Director of TOC, Karolina Olofsson, Senior Researcher at PRIO, Henrik Syse, and Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway, Espen Barth Eide discussed the topic «The Backsliding of Democracy and the Rising of Autocracies».
In the conversation, democratic culture and representation were brought up as necessities to prevent democratic erosion. It was highlighted that democratic leaders need to create democratic culture from the top by encouraging free speech and a system built on accountability and transparency, as the success of a democracy is dependent on the people’s trust. Lastly, it was highlighted how the existence of a culture of tolerance is crucial, in order for groups of society will find space to engage in society.

Read the brief of TOC’s Annual Webinar 2021 here.