2010 Forum for the Future of Democracy

Thorbjørn Jagland: ''Deep security'' and freedom of expression are the basis of democracy

''The Council of Europe has a unique strategic role to play in strengthening good democratic governance at all levels in the European space'' – that was the main message of the 2010 Forum for the Future of Democracy, which ended in Yerevan on 21 October. Democracy, or rather good democratic governance, is now not only intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights but is also recognised as the most effective form of governance to ensure stability, sustainability and well-being. ''This is what I call deep security,'' said the Secretary General. (more ...)


About the 2010 Forum

The Yerevan Forum addressed the principles of democratic governance by analysing their application to, and their repercussions on, contemporary political and societal changes in Council of Europe member states. It examined the achievements and shortcomings in various policy fields and the respective institutional frameworks, through the prism of the principles of democratic governance. Whilst recognising the variety of political and institutional systems, civil society and patterns of interactions and mutual reinforcements between different groups and their governments to be found throughout Europe, this analysis was done with full respect for the common principles of pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Apart from the formal opening session, the first day included a high-level panel of experts, which identified main trends in, and threats to, democratic governance.

For the purpose of analysis within the framework of the Forum, the principles of democratic governance were broken down into three sub-themes, each examined in two separate working sessions during the morning and afternoon of day 2:

  • Sub-theme 1 : Law and democracy (A. The impact of European law and case-law on shaping democracy - B. "Should there be a right to democracy?")
  • Sub-theme 2: Institutions and Democratic governance (A. Democracy and representation, B. Democracy and global governance)
  • Sub-theme 3: Live Democracy (A. Sustainable communities for a live democracy,  B. Democratic political culture: democracy's oxygen)


  • The Yerevan Forum was expected to provide, in a perspective beyond 2010, orientation on how the Council of Europe could support the improvement of good democratic governance in its member states.