Today, the speakers and the visitors of the World Forum of Democracy 2015 came together. They did not let themselves be silenced by the most recent terroristic attacks on several places around the world.
Nevertheless, we started the opening session in silence- to tribute and mourn the people who lost their lives to a barbaric act of human ignorance.
The secretary general of Europe, the mayor of Strasburg and the vice president of the regional council of Alsace all reminded us that this year’s forum is all about finding the right balances: the balance between surveillance and freedom of the individual, to find what Roland Ries (mayor of Strasbourg) refers to as ‘equilibrium’- the perfect balance between freedom and control.
Further on Mr. Jagland, the secretary of the vice president of Europe, makes a remark about our society’s most recent and overall problem: A ‘deficit of reflection and a surplus of reaction’. Especially in times of fast changing circumstances, we tend to react too fast in situations when taking the time to carefully reflect are crucial.
‘Freedom is one of the most fragile values and needs to be protected’
When speakers gave an outlook on the upcoming challenges to democracies all over the world, it becomes clear that due to nations’ rising interdependencies and responsibilities, we can’t solve any problem by ourselves! Only by communicating and joining forces from the fields of law, institutions, businesses, non-governmental orgainsations, journalists, from all age groups and backgrounds, we can find solutions that lead to improvement and progress of our democracies. Mrs. Jean, Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, stresses that ‘absolute optimism is the fuel that should drive us’.
Terrorism: A combat between two visions of society
The acts of terror that happen all over the world from Tunisia, Mali, Lebanon, Syria to Europe- Michaëlle Jean describes them as ‘combat among two visions of society’. One is based on hatred and brutality and the other one that seeks constant progress and ongoing dialogue with each other.
It became clear that in the next three days of the forum the people who are here, friends of democracies, will gather their forces and ideas to find inputs and solutions on how to reach the ‘equilibrium’ of freedom and control.