KOD @Net4Society event: “Democracy and Europe” in Lisbon

Katarzyna Mortoń, from the Committee for the Defence of Democracy took part in the panel discussion organised by the Net4Society in Lisbon (Democracy and Europe).

Next to her, in the session,  “Challenges to #democracy and emerging alternatives”  took their stand Katrín Oddsdóttir from Stjórnarskrárfélagið -The Icelandic Constitution Societyand Cristina Flesher Fominaya from University of Aberdeen.

Katarzyna presented few points that relate to the current state of democracy in Europe:

Fight for democracy in 21st century requires a different toolkit than the battles we fought in the times of communism. Today the fall of democracy or a change of the system creeps into not only the key legislation but also into social links. Precise and partnership-based communication between political groups is key in order to reach the public awareness. Divided and frustrated society, which does not define democracy, equality or solidarity in the same way is susceptible to the ideas of populism. Citizen education requires support (tools, funding, skills and knowledge) to tackle such challenges, which concerns mainly communication in today’s world. A very complex idea nowadays.

Katarzyna Morton talked also about these challenges, the difficult political situation in Poland as well as civic movements and the relationship with the EU.She introduced #KOD as a protest movement focused on the defence of democracy and standing up against the breaking of the rule of law in Poland. It is also a constructive movement focusing on education, support and bringing the community together. Our aim is to be part of the debate both on the national and international scene. #KOD wants to share its perspective and practical knowledge with the world of academia, law, politicians and the representatives of institutions. We also seek new perspectives.


Other KEY POINTS brought to the discussion:

– on how we lack communication channels between different groups (citizens of different views – national level), between different political levels (how grass-root is underfunded, lacks sufficient skills to build and pass the message to the wide range of citizens and voice a citizens’ message bottom up – especially building bridges between Europe and citizens).

– on values-war within the Polish society abused by populism as an obstacle to democracy and dialogue.

– on a situation in #Poland, in general and how to tackle “emergency” moments when democracy slips to a danger zone (Rule of Law).

– on #KOD and its success and challenges as a social movement.

Her remarks on keywords to consider:

1. Critical thinking to be included into the education.

2. Access to awareness (not only opportunities and wealth).

3. Include into an attitude of honesty, transparency, and partnership a communication. And especially the use of PRECISE LANGUAGE.

4. Remember the “follow up” stage in all the processes as they “get stuck” in the implementation.

5. Invest money into civil society and treat them seriously


She post a following questions to reflect on: Are we making sufficient effort to share ‘money’, opportunities, knowledge, awareness with the largest population possible? When more people from local communities (that don’t speak English!) will stand here instead of me / with me? When will we understand that civil society is underinvested whereas it should be the EU’s top priority ASAP? Especially knowing how hard, without resources, the grassroot is working in Poland.

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