“Democracy is our most precious common good. It needs to be constantly renewed so that its attraction is undiminished. The Council of Europe must continue to lead the way in this sphere. It must do so not only for the sake of Europe’s future, but also to support democratic aspirations expressed anywhere in the world”, according to France’s Secretary of State for Women’s Rights, Pascale Boistard, speaking at the opening of the 2014 World Forum for Democracy.
“Democratic life means giving every citizen participation rights, but also means. This is why I welcome this year’s Forum’s focus on young people, at a time of crisis during which the difficulties they are experiencing in obtaining work may also curtail their involvement in public life and responsibilities. Our current crisis is bringing serious threats to democracy and is leading in our countries to a sort of calling into question of our fundamental principles, with a resurgence in racism and hate speech”, she said – while underlining the importance of gender equality in democratic participation.
“The Forum is therefore a precious tool for the Council of Europe, and for democracy in general,” she concluded.