Summit For Democracy: From Words to Action

By Maria Koomen
24 January 2022

On December 9-10, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden convened the first of two Summits for Democracy. Leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector agreed to a Year of Action by reviving democracy at home and abroad and advancing democratic reform. But is this Summit capable of tackling democracy’s challenges? To help answer this, the Open Governance Network for Europe, Carnegie Europe, and European Partnership for Democracy convened a Democracy Debate to hear from experts on both sides. Here’s what they said:

Arguing in favor of the Summit’s capability to deliver, Tonu Basu, Deputy Director of Thematic Policy Areas at the Open Government Partnership, focused on the power of the Summit’s international signaling and the course it set for accountable action at home and abroad.

In contrast, Oliver Stuenkel, Associate Professor of International Relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in Brazil, cast doubt on whether the Summit can deliver, focusing on the U.S.’s ulterior geopolitical motives in convening the Summit, the country’s lack of legitimacy as host and leader, and the absence of monitoring mechanisms in place.