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The Global Alliance for Digital Governance at the Policy Dialog “Rethinking Democracy”

Distinguished Contributors of Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment and Coordinators of Global Alliance for Digital Governance Paul Nemitz and Professor Thomas Patterson spoke at the Policy Dialog 2021. They brought ideas from discussions in building Global Law and Accord on AI and Digital.

“Technology, well-framed with legal instruments, will be conducive to democracy. We found that with radio -used by Nazis first, then regulated and a factor for democracy, and with TV). TV and Radio needed rules to be good for democracy. It’s time to do it with the internet and AI”, said Paul Nemitz, Principal Advisor, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission.

Participants reflected on the nature and potential development of democracy, its institutions and mechanisms. “You need a state, rule of law and democracy. And we need to find a balance between state and individual freedom. We also need a system in which a majority cannot impose its will on a minority”, said Alexander Stubb, the former Prime Minister of Finland.

Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile, noted how politics today are “much more horizontal” thanks to platforms and technologies by which politicians are able to directly communicate with citizens. “Politicians could have more established institutions to listen to the people and learn their demands”, he said.

Anna-Lena von Hodenburg, the CEO of HateAid, said that leaving platforms to self-regulate does not work to address the floods of disinformation and hate speech online driving polarisation. We need balanced regulation instead. Von Hodenburg called for more rights for users and transparency from platforms.

Regarding new information technologies, Derek Mitchell, President of National Democratic Institute stated that “The digital will kill democracy. Our inability to fight the disinformation battle is daunting. Without a strong information basis to build consensus, democracy cannot succeed”.’