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newsPresident von der Leyen at the Summit for Democracy: EU will work with partners to strengthen our democracies

President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen chaired today a Leaders' Session at the Summit for Democracy hosted by President of the United States, Joe Biden. The debate aimed at drawing on each other's experience to help strengthen democracies around the world.

“Each democracy is unique. But it all comes down to being able to speak your mind. To change things with a ballot. It is power given and taken away by citizens, framed by checks and balances,” von der Leyen said.

President stressed how important it was to always nurture and work on improving democracy, particularly knowing how opponents of democracy are using new tools.

She said the EU and its Member States were the biggest global donor of democracy support, and announced a new Global Europe Human Rights and Democracy programme, worth EUR 1.5 billion. “Beyond this, our Global Gateway strategy will unleash EUR 300 billion for infrastructure investments around the world; infrastructure that is based on values, on transparency, and on sustainability,” she added.

President von der Leyen also recognised the strong commitment to strengthen democracy around the world, and the common understanding that it can and ‘must deliver for people'. Acknowledging that although democracy may be imperfect in design, President von der Leyen concluded that there was a common will to reinforce it as the ‘fairest way to deliver the greatest benefits' to people around the world, creating societies that are equal and allow equal opportunities.

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