The growth of illiberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe has prompted civil society activists and members of the business community to reactivate the region’s networks of reformers, reinvigorate the region’s democratic trajectory, and reaffirm the importance of trans-Atlantic ties for Europe’s future.
A Declaration launched by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and regional partners asserts the crucial role of democratic values and free market principles in the region.
“This Declaration lays the groundwork for future local level advocacy that will reassert the primacy of liberal democracy and the role of civil society and the private sector in its development,” CIPE’s Managing Director, Andrew Wilson said today. “We see groups signing this declaration on both sides of the Atlantic to create a truly trans-Atlantic dialogue on the roles of markets and democracy.”
The initiative follows this week’s launch in Prague of a Coalition for Democratic Renewal on the basis of a statement of principles signed by such leading intellectuals as Francis Fukuyama, Walter Laqueur, Bernard-Henri Lévy and Lilia Shevtsova, and democracy advocates, including Freedom House president Mike Abramowitz and the National Endowment for Democracy’s Carl Gershman.