European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová said this Wednesday that the biggest threat to democracy in Europe is that citizens “stop believing it works”. The Commissioner with the Values and Transparency portfolio considers that Democrats have to make “more effort” to stop the growth of authoritarian and anti-democratic movements and “convince people that democracy works”.
“The biggest threat to democracy in Europe is to stop believing it works. We heard this from different Member States and parts of society: democracy does not work because they do not see enough justice or stability ”, said Věra Jourová, in a panel on“ Protecting democracy in the EU ”, in first day of Web Summit 2020 (which this year is exclusively online).
For Věra Jourová, Democrats have a “difficult task” in the defense of democracy and its values, but he warns that “more effort is needed to convince people that democracy works”, taking into account the growth of authoritarianism and parties anti-system in Europe and in the world.
"This is a critical moment for Europe because, if we devalue the importance of democracy, we will have a big problem to keep society functioning", he stressed.
Asked about the challenges that the Internet and social networks brought to democracy and its balance with disinformation, Věra Jourová said: “I have heard so many negative descriptions about how the Internet is putting our lives at risk. But there are so many positive things: education, knowledge, opening minds and horizons. The Internet and social networks were designed to connect people and give us knowledge ”.
He acknowledged, however, that there are "bad actors using this space" and that disinformation can be "more subtle" than illegal content. “The time of the unregulated world is coming to an end. We are preparing the regulation ”, he guaranteed, explaining that the regulation of the Internet and social networks“ does not continue on the basis of simple friendly agreements ”and promising that this process will be“ inclusive ”and“ fair ”.