Beyond Election Day

Democracy is a daily exercise, well beyond election day. It is about equal rights for all voters, and a level playing field for parties; it is about freedom of speech, a diverse and independent media; it is about a lively civil society, and the daily participation of citizens from all backgrounds to a country’s public life.

This is something we Europeans understand very well. We know it from our history, and we are putting it into practice in our foreign policy, every day. We believe that only democracy, the rule of law and human rights can make a State or a society “resilient”: only when institutions are credible and accountable, they are strong and stable against external shocks. Resilience is an essential component of our foreign policy, and it has become a core concept both in the European Union’s Global Strategy for foreign and security policy and in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is the European way - to foreign policy, to democracy, to a more peaceful region in a more cooperative global order. And the European way includes our commitment to democracy “beyond election day.”