The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) introduced the activities of IDEA to the representatives of Estonian civil society and research institutions at a roundtable organised by the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute (EFPI) at the ICDS on 13 October 2021.
Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, the Secretary-General of International IDEA, shared concerns about democracies in decline; that more countries are moving in an authoritarian direction rather than a democratic one. The quality of democracy is deteriorating, and the number of backsliding democracies has doubled in the past decade. Dr Casa-Zamora emphasised that it does not mean that democracies are weakening; instead, the authoritarian toolbox is expanding, becoming more sophisticated.
International IDEA is an organisation established in 1995 that advances democracy worldwide through support to the building, strengthening, and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.
Estonia has expressed its wish to become a member of International IDEA to contribute even more to promoting democratic values and principles. Thus, the roundtable was preceded by opening words by Eva-Maria Liimets, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, where she stressed the concerns about the democracies in decline and the utmost importance of becoming a member of the IDEA to protect democratic values considering very ambiguous times where authoritarian states are constantly trying to undermine the pillars of democracy.
The introduction and presentation of Estonia’s efforts in the field of democracy support to IDEA was followed by a discussion of challenges of democracy support and opportunities for cooperation.