18/11/2022 - Ministers and high-level representatives from the 38 OECD countries, the European Union, as well as some OECD accession candidate countries, have reiterated their shared commitment to the core values of democracy and welcomed a set of actions to strengthen the resilience of democracies and increase their responsiveness to citizens’ growing and changing expectations.
Ministers gathered in Luxembourg on 18 November for the OECD Public Governance Ministerial on “Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy”, under the chairmanship of Luxembourg and vice-chairmanship of Colombia, France, Lithuania, and the United States.
Low voter turnout, greater political polarisation and larger groups of citizens dissociating themselves from traditional democratic processes pose significant challenges for policy makers in many OECD countries today. Even in the most well-established democracies, these trends are testing institutions and hindering governments’ ability to address pressing social and economic challenges. At the same time, major global disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and climate change, have underscored the importance of strengthening the governance of democracies and citizens’ trust.
“We know that democracy is the system of government best placed to ensure inclusive, prosperous, sustainable and peaceful societies,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said. “While democratic economic and political systems have stood the test of time, as we witnessed during the pandemic, how governments respond to today’s challenges and disruptions will impact citizens’ trust and satisfaction over the long run. Our democratic models must evolve to increase their resilience and better deliver on citizens’ expectations. The OECD is at the forefront of this effort through its Reinforcing Democracy Initiative and through the important commitments made at today’s Ministerial.”
“Today Ministers took stock of major evolutions affecting our democratic systems, including citizens’ demand for greater participation and representation, rising foreign influence, changing information ecosystems, governing green and the digitalisation of our societies,” said Sam Tanson, Justice Minister of Luxembourg. “The far-reaching collective commitments adopted today will help governments address these challenges and strengthen the foundations of our democratic systems to make them more resilient and more responsive in the future.”
Ministers discussed action around five key governance challenges for democracy:combating mis- and disinformation; ensuring representation, participation and openness in public life; embracing the global responsibilities of government and building resilience to foreign influence; “governing green”, or the capacity of democracies to respond to climate change and other environmental challenges; and transforming public governance for digital democracy. Underpinning these discussions were the findings of the OECD Trust Survey, which identifies what drives citizens trust in public institutions.
The Ministerial meeting culminated with the adoption of the Declaration on Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy in which Ministers and high-level representatives restated their commitments and supported a range of concrete actions, including:
The Ministerial meeting was preceded on 17 November by the OECD Global Forum on Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy. The Global Forum brought together over 800 stakeholders from government, business, civil society, media, and academia from more than 60 countries to share perspectives on key challenges and solutions for making democracy fit for the 21st century.
The links to the Luxembourg Declaration and Action Plans are available on this address https://legalinstruments.oecd.org/en/instruments/OECD-LEGAL-0484.
See more on:
The analytical background to the Reinforcing Democracy Initiative: Building Trust and Reinforcing Democracy: Preparing the Ground for Government Action
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