Norwegian Helsinki Committee 35th Anniversary Seminar | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Norwegian Helsinki Committee 35th Anniversary Seminar

Norwegian Helsinki Committee 35th Anniversary Seminar

Democracy challenged – How to counter erosion of democratic rule?

Time: 23 October 09:00-15:30
Place: Hotel Bristol, the Maud Hall, Kristian IV's gate 7

The Arab spring of 2011-2012 represents the most significant challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet communism. Yet there is a continued pattern of global democratic backsliding, including rigging of elections, limited press freedom, undermining of rule of law, and restrictions for civil society. Both the collapse of Soviet communism and the Arabic spring have shown that even though popular protest might be the end of an authoritarian regime, it is not necessarily the beginning of democracy.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee devotes its 35th Anniversary Seminar to discussing ways to overcome the democratic backsliding, in particular in European and former Soviet countries.


09:00 Registration

09:30 Welcome, Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

09:40 “Challenges to democracy”, Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Foreign Minister

10:10 “The challenge of authoritarian capitalism”, Erik Solheim, former Norwegian Minister

of development

10:30 “The current state of “managed democracy” in the Russian Federation: How kremlin

gets the elections results it wants”, Grigory Melkonyants, Deputy Director, Golos Association

11:00 Coffee break

11:15 “Russia’s Opposition: who are they, how strong are they, and what do they want to

achieve”? Regina Smyth, Associate Professor, Indiana University

11:45 “Undermining democracy in Hungary: Viktor Orbán’s constitutional revolution”,

András Kádár, Co-chair, Hungarian Helsinki Committee

12:15 Panel discussion with speakers. Moderator: Bjørn Engesland

13:00 Lunch

13:45 “How to revive Helsinki Principles on democracy and human rights?” Evgeny Zhovtis, Kazakhstan, 2010 Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award laureate

14:15 Students from the NHC education programs: How to foster a youth culture for

democracy in education, political parties, mass media, and in post-conflict

situations? Adam Bialiatski, Belarus; Elma Oručević, Bosnia and Hercegovina; Morten

Elster, Norway

14:30 “Strategies for strengthening democracy: the role of civil society”, Gunnar M.

Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee

14:45 Panel discussion with speakers. Moderator: Brigitte Dufour, Director, International

Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)

15:30 End of seminar


Register to before 19 October