A Democracy Foundation for Europe

In this opinion (in German language) for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, DRI’s co-founders Michael Meyer-Resende and Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf comment on the debate whether Germany and Europe need a democracy foundation.  They support the idea, arguing that while many foundations and initiatives work on wider democracy issues, there is none that specifically focuses on democratic rules of the game, taking a non-partisan perspective. Key concepts of democracy are challenged and pulled apart, such as majority rule, the rule of law and human rights.


Thus, the Polish government argues that the majority will should trump judicial independence. In the Catalonia crisis the independence movement claimed a clear democratic mandate, based on a slim majority gained in a deeply divided society through a questionable process.  The Spanish government in turn argued only with the rule of law, despite the fact that the then-ruling party had blocked better legal arrangements for Catalonia only some years before. A democracy foundation should  provide a strong public voice upholding democratic rules of the game without aligning with any political current and should hold dialogues on democracy, in order to build bridges in a context of increasing political polarisation.


Photo by Mirko Humbert on flickr

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