Back Is Democracy Key to Ensuring Peace? – online roundtable

Is Democracy Key to Ensuring Peace? – online roundtable

The European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) of the Council of Europe, is organising a roundtable on the occasion of the Partners for Democracy Day in the lead up to the second Summit for Democracy, and in light of the Fourth Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government and the World Forum for Democracy.

Over 70 years ago, the leaders of the European states which had come together to form the Council of Europe reaffirmed their belief that justice and peace in the world are best maintained by an effective political democracy and an observance of human rights. In 2023, the phenomenon of democratic backsliding (or “attacks on democracy”, as the United States put it) and unprecedented international tensions culminating with the war in Ukraine, are prompting a number of high-level events including the holding of a Fourth Council of Europe Summit.

A well-functioning democracy with strong institutions and processes commanding peoples’ trust can be a bulwark against destructive populism, the feeding of social tensions, instrumentalised propaganda, as well as the creation of myths and simplistic solutions which at worst are centred on systematically attacking “the other” and creating imaginary villains and threats (from within and from outside the country).

Leaving aside the democratic peace theory, this round table is designed to explore the above and other questions and identify some of the issues in the field of democratic governance which need to be priorities for those today who are working for peace in a world where there are so many strong forces pulling in the opposite direction.


With the participation of:

Introducing the subject and the context:


  • Ms. Svetlana Geleva, Ambassador of North Macedonia, Chair of the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM)
  • Mr. Paul Rowsell, Chair of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG)

Work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), its recent resolutions on safeguarding genuine democracy and on democratic security:

  • Ms Maria Mezentseva, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Ukraine’s struggle for democracy and peace: 

  • Ms Orysia Lutsevych, Research Fellow and Head of the Ukraine Forum at Chatham House
  • Ms Dina Klymyuk and Ms Karina Grodetska, European Democracy Youth Network

Importance of democratic institutions and lessons from the Balkans:

  • Mr Ivan Vejvoda, Permanent Fellow, Head of Europe's Futures - Ideas for Action, Institute for Human Sciences, Austria

Role of the free media and information to promote Democracy and Peace:

  • Ms Dragana Obradovic, executive director for Serbia of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), manager of the Reporting Democracy project

The hopes from Younger generations for our continent

  • Ms Armine Movsesyan, International Movement of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth, Head of the portfolio on youth, peace and security of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Council on Youth

Democratisation programmes and policies:

  • John Glenn, Senior Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Mr Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance Program, Carnegie Europe

Questions and answers, Conclusions: Moderators

Time permitting, questions and comments from the public. 

Please send questions to: cddg[at] including your name, affiliation and country.

Online 27 March 2023, 15.00-17.00 CET
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