Panel discussions about what effects does a pandemic have on democracy and are the Nordic and Baltic countries immune to authoritarian tendencies sparked during the COVID-19 crisis will take place on Friday May 8 at 14.00-15.00. The discussion will be live streamed on and on Besides the immediate effects on the health system, the economy and our social life, the COVID-19 crisis has led to other consequences on how our societies function. The crisis has put unprecedented strains on the democratic fabric of society, and this is not only true for countries considered to have a more authoritarian type of leadership. Within just a couple of months, many countries have imposed measures against the pandemic limiting our freedom of movement and personal integrity that would have been unthinkable before the crisis? What is the situation in the Nordic-Baltic region? Is there room for a democratic discussion during a pandemic, or do people accept a strong political leadership that is in charge for the “war” against COVID-19? Is there a risk that that democracy will come out weakened after the crisis even in established democracies? Can we be sure of that politicians will not see the crisis as an opportunity to strengthen control of society and can we rely on that the measures will be lifted afterwards? These and other questions related to the consequences for democracy will be discussed at a webinar with the following participants: Vita Tērauda – member of the Latvian Parliament, head of the Committee for European Affairs and the Subcommittee for Media Policy, Staffan Lindberg – professor at the Gothenburg University and director of the Variety of Democracy Institute, Zakia Elvang – democracy activist and advisor at the Danish NGO “WeDoDemocracy” and the Democracy Festivals’ Association, Andris Šuvajevs – master of social antropology from Oxford University, researcher on social policy at PROVIDUS. The discussion will be moderated by Ieva Morica, Executive Director of DOTS Foundation. The webinar is arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia in cooperation with DOTS Foundation and Delfi, and is part of the Latvian Democracy Week 2020 initiative.

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