Democracy advocates would do well to scrutinize the white paper released last month by the Scottish National Party in preparation for an independence referendum scheduled for September 2014. The document and the vote it heralds may have important implications for the viability of multinational democracies elsewhere, the global balance of forces between free and authoritarian countries, and the fundamental notion of democracy as a sturdy supplier of good governance.
The six countries of the Eastern Partnership program lag far behind their closest neighbors in the EU. But this is a testament to the bloc’s past successes, and a sign that it must help these states build up their democratic institutions.
Freedom House mourns the loss of former Czech president and dissident leader Vaclav Havel, an unwavering advocate for human rights and democracy. Freedom House was fortunate to have worked closely with Havel over the years. He served as Co-Chair of Freedom House’s American Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program in the mid-1990’s and was honored with its distinguished Freedom Award in 1991 for his role in orchestrating the Velvet Revolution.”
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
On May 21, 2008, the UN General Assembly will elect 15 new Human Rights Council members. Twenty countries are candidates. Freedom House and UN Watch evaluated each candidate’s suitability for election to the Human Rights Council by examining its record of human rights protection at home and its record of human rights promotion at the UN.
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