Freedom vs control: For a democratic response

Strasbourg, 18-20 November 2015


There is a growing sentiment across democracies worldwide about vulnerability to a diverse range of threats – from violent extremism to economic, technological, environmental and geopolitical risks. This acute public awareness – particularly the fear generated by violent attacks driven by ideology – can accentuate societal divides, sharpen latent conflicts, and destabilise society. The lack of data protection guarantees with regard to personal data held by internet companies is also a major concern. The growing tension between the concern for safety and the protection of freedoms is one of the key challenges facing democracies today.

Can democracies deal with security risks linked to the digital revolution without jeopardising freedom and democratic stability? Can they resist the escalation of fear and formulate responses based on civic responsibility and active citizenship? What does democratic security mean today? How can a balance between security and freedom be maintained in a democratic society under threat? (more...)

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About the Forum

The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy is an annual gathering of leaders, opinion-makers, civil society activists, representatives of business, academia, media and professional groups to debate key challenges for democracies worldwide. The insights gathered during the World Forum meetings inform the work of the Council of Europe and its numerous partners in the field of democracy and democratic governance.

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