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Index – Abroad – Democracy Summit with very mixed participation

The idea came from the US President, who said, “Democracy will not happen by itself. We must fight it, defend it, strengthen it and renew it if necessary.” At this event, very different democracies will discuss the fight against authoritarianism and corruption and tell us what they are doing to support human rights. Then they come back a year later to tell them how far they have come in this battle. President Biden is confident that the initiative will support democracy itself around the world.

Released by the US State Department in late November List, Which included the names of 110 invited countries. The foreign policy interests of the Biden administration are very evident in the selection process. The Washington-based NGO Freedom House, a nongovernmental organization, reviews the State of Freedom every year. Countries of the world. The maximum score available is 100. This is based on answering 25 criteria related to political and civil rights and liberties in a country.

Based on the exercise of political and civil rights and liberties, states are divided into three categories: free, partially free, and free.

Almost all free countries are invited to the Washington summit, but there will be Zambia (52 points) and Moldova (62), which can clearly be classified as partially free. Three participants came from the non-free category, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (20 points), Iraq (29 points) and Angola (31 points). However, a number of countries ranked significantly higher than those listed above, such as Bolivia (66 points) or Sierra Leone (65 points), were not invited.

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There were also clear foreign policy interests in the call, as this meant taking into account regional considerations in Iraq and Kenya (48 points) or Niger (48 points). On the other hand, there are clear strategic considerations when looking at the participation of Pakistan (37 points) and Ukraine (60 points). The first is an important US strategic partner in the Asian region, and the other is threatening to overthrow a semi-authoritarian regime. Taiwan’s invitation (94 points), which has poor international recognition, is in any case a gesture of solidarity against the growing Chinese aggression on the island. By the way, this move infuriated China (9 points), which immediately criticized the summit of democracy, calling itself more democratic than America.

On the other hand, China was not invited as much as Russia (20 points) or Saudi Arabia (7 points). Countries whose democratic system has weakened in recent years were not invited, including two NATO allies, Turkey (32 points) and Hungary (69 points). Among the EU member states, not only Hungary has been invited to the Democracy Summit. As an independent organization, Biden also wanted to invite the European Union as the 111th participant, but Hungary objected to this.

According to Bloomberg, Hungary dug up the post because Viktor Orban was not invited. turn, a veto official The United States did not invite all member states separately. The Hungarian envoy argued that the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, could not speak for the EU as a whole, as no common position had been reached.

Of course, the existence of so many other countries is also controversial, with Freedom House listings dropping back and forth in recent years. The presence of India (67 points), Brazil (74 points) and Poland (82 points) is politically significant to the United States. At the same time, the director himself, also the United States, lost his position, because while in 2019 he received 86 points, in 2020 he had only 83.

In the course of the debate, many note that while this widespread promotion of democracy and the principles associated with it is beautiful, the presence of authoritarian actors such as the Congo or Brazil, seen as a hotbed of corruption, is often accused of repeated disregard for human rights. Strengthens the fund’s objective. At the same time, the moral authority of the United States of the organization itself is questionable, if we consider the damage done to American democracy during the Trump administration. Aharon they say, They should have invited more authoritarian states and influence them with the themes of the event, rather than excluding them on a large scale, because the move could somewhere be considered anti-democratic.

(Cover image: Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)