Tale

Tale til Summit for Democracy den 9. december 2021

Statsministeriet

Mr President.
Excellencies.
Ladies and gentlemen.

 

What is the heart of our democracy?

Is it our laws? Our political system? Our institutions?

More than seventy years ago, the Danish writer Hal Koch answered this question.

Democracy, he argued, is not just a system of government. It is a way of life. Democracy is the conversation and mutual understanding between us.

The democratic conversation is changing.

New technologies and large tech companies are increasingly setting the stage for the democratic dialogue. Sometimes with more emphasis on reach than on freedom of speech.

* * *

Denmark is one of the most digital countries in the world.

In our minds, technology holds great potential to make democracy stronger.

Technology connects us and enables people to engage in society.

And with digital solutions, we are able to do things smarter, faster and better.

Yet at the same time, the digital age is also a challenge to democracy.

When a small number of companies have the power to influence our democratic conversation.

When facts are being put into question. And fake news spreads.

When disinformation campaigns are used to attack democratic institutions and elections.

We need a joint political answer.

* * *

Governments must reclaim the steering wheel of the digital development.

We need to make technology work for us, for our democracy – not the opposite.

We need a set of global rules for surveillance and disinformation.

Our own ‘Tech for Democracy’ initiative aims to bring governments, organizations, tech companies and civil society together.

We want to renew the commitment to a responsible, democratic and safe technological development.

Because we can never take democracy for granted.

* * *

Thank you, President Biden, for hosting this important summit.

We share the responsibility to make democracy bloom in the digital age.

Thank you.