Democracy as a system that enshrines universal values. Democracy as an agent of peace. Democracy as a guarantor of progress and prosperity. Council of Europe Secretary General today opened the Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy, highlighting the unique role of democracy around the globe.
"Our model of democracy has been compromised because its institutions are largely national while most of the problems -and potential solutions- are globalised", added Thorbjørn Jagland, acknowledging the impact of new technologies in the international political arena. "In today's politics, some politicians tweet faster than they think -continued Jagland- If everyone is "following", who is leading ?"
Can democracy really function if people tweet, but do not vote ? How to reconcile traditional representative democracy with new developments of technological direct democracy ?
How to tackle growing mistrust in institutions and political parties ? Crucial questions are now on the table.
The Secretary General also underlined the universality of democracy in respect of the Arab Spring, noting how the reality of 2012 is different from the hopes of 2011.
"It is high time to liberate religion from politics: today politics is harming religion and misuse of religion is harming politics", emphasised Jagland.