Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been at the center of European and global politics for three decades as Secretary General of NATO and Prime Minister of Denmark. In 2017 Anders Fogh Rasmussen founded The Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of democracy and free markets across the globe.
It is ironic that citizens across the Western world have never been so free, so empowered, so peaceful, and offered so many opportunities; and yet many of these same people no longer feel represented by the same democratic systems that delivered these dividends.
As a life-long lover of freedom and democracy, and of the rules-based international democratic-led order that shaped the post-war world, I believe we must find out what is going wrong and correct it. This is why I decided to form a new political Foundation, called the Alliance of Democracies. Our aim is to make democracy great again.
At our inaugural summit in Copenhagen this June, we saw the scale of the challenge. Dalia research presented the largest single global study into perceptions towards democracy. The survey of 125,000 people in 50 countries was sobering, showing that people have lost faith in democratic governments, while non-democratic regimes are instilling public confidence in the hearts and minds of their citizens.
Democratic mainstream politicians cannot shirk their responsibility for this disconnect. For too long, legitimate concerns about issues such as immigration have been dismissed and promises broken. Likewise, political leaders and politicians have failed to demonstrate how the global free trading system brings benefits that far outweigh any concentrated pitfalls.
Meanwhile, autocratic states are successfully weaponizing our free societies and interfering in our elections. They spread fear and confusion and turn our freedom into a strategic weakness when it should be our strongest asset.
The Alliance of Democracies foundation is initiating a number of work streams, from a program of expeditionary economics to develop local entrepreneurs in post-conflict areas, through to a program to build a worldwide intellectual movement for democracy.
We are also seeking to close a gap in the transatlantic response to election meddling by establishing the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity. This initiative brings together leading politicians, media, business and tech figures to deliver a united response to this common challenge, and to raise awareness of its scale.
The stakes could not be any higher. If the world’s democracies divide and falter, the only people to benefit will be the bad guys: the emboldened autocrats and dictators.
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