PUBLICATION: Next Generation Democracy Looking Forward

Between the 23rd and the 25th of November 2014, under the framework of the Next Generation Democracy Project (NGD), the Club de Madrid and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) partnered to facilitate a policy dialogue -“Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action”- hosted by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Forty Club de Madrid Members and 100 renowned experts on democracy from academia, international organizations, think tanks, the private sector and civil society jointly assessed the quality and state of democracy around the world and discussed transformative ideas and practices that could contribute to preventing its decline.


The policy dialogue launched the NGD Project, a Club de Madrid-led, two-year, multi-stakeholder process that will progressively identify key elements and develop both regional and global action-oriented agendas aimed at advancing democracy. The Bertelsmann Stiftung, one of our main NGD partners, drafted preliminary regional reports on recent trends and prospects in democratic development. These were then reviewed and enriched by NGD regional partners including the Atlantic Council, Observer Research Foundation , FRIDE, Carnegie Middle-East Center, FLACSO network in Latin America and the Institute for Security Studies.


Working group discussions and plenary sessions during the policy dialogue offered additional elements relevant to a diagnosis of the current state and the future of democracy and have been compiled in the following report:

Conclusions form the Policy Dialogue “Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action


See the Flickr Photo Gallery of the Policy Dialogue at

E-Book: Conference “Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A call for action

Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action,” is a Policy Dialogue co-organized by the Club de Madrid (CdM) and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), and hosted by the European University Institute (EUI) taking place November 24-25, 2014 in Florence, Italy. The conference will serve as the launch of the two-year multi-stakeholder Next Generation Democracy (NGD) Project.

For more information about the confence, download the E-Book here

Visit the Event website

Monday 24th: Join the live broadcast of the ‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline?’ policy dialogue

The Club de Madrid and the RFK Center, with the Bertelsmann Stiftung as knowledge partner, are organizing this policy dialogue on the quality of democracy in Florence from the 23rd to the 25th of November. The aim: finding innovative ideas to foster democracy worldwide all over the world and revert the signs of the system’s decline. The plenary sessions will be live streammed in our website, starting on Monday 24tth

Every session from the Policy dialogue will also be tweeted by the following accounts: @CLUBdeMADRID, @RFKCenter and @RFKEurope and the hashtag to follow the disccussions will be #NGD.

The webstreaming will start on Monday 24th  at 13.00 CET with the plenary session ‘Setting the Scene-The State of Democracy’.

Have a look here to the list of confirmed participants (As of 18th of November) and the detailed program

General strcuture of the policy dialogue:


Sunday 23rd

20.15 Journalist accraditation Robert F. Kennedy International House di Firenze, Via Ghibelina 12/A

21.00: Inaugural Dinner, “The future of democratic governance”.

Welcome remarks by:

Romano Prodi: former Prime Minister of Italy and Club de Madrid Member

Vaira Vike-Freiberga: President of the Club de Madrid and former President of Latvia

Dario Nardella: Mayor of Florence

Keynote speech:

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy


Due to severe room limitations media will have to be previously accredited. Accreditations will be granted  in a first to come basis with a very restricted number of journalist


Monday 24th

12.00 Journalist accreditation

12.45 Press Conference at the European University Institute, Badia Fiesolona. Via Roccettini 9, San Domenico di Fiesole-Florence. Precise room to be confirmed


Vaira Vike Freiberga: President of the Club de Madrid and former President of Latvia

Jorge Fernando Quiroga: VP of the Club de Madrid and former President of Bolivia

Santiago Cantón: Executive Director, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Joseph Weiler: President of the European University Institute


13.15-15.30 Plenary sessions: “Setting the Scene-The State of Democracy” y “Next Generation Democracy-What, Why and How” Sala Reffetorio (live streaming)


From Monday 24th at 15.30 to Tuesday 25th at 12.00, five regional working groups on five regions Sub-Saharan Africa, Americas, Asia-Oceania, Wider Europe and Post Soviet Eurasia and Broader MENA will analyze the following subjects:

– Diagnosis: Projecting 2000-2015 democratic trends into 2015-2030

– Advancing Democratic Values and Transforming Institutions

– Advancing Democratic Policies and Management

– Advancing Access and Inclusiveness in Democracy

Tuesday 25th

12.00-13.30 Special Plenary Session (Live streaming)

Democracy, Human Rights and Foreign Policy, designed by the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights

15.15-17.00 Plenary Session (Live streaming)

Next Generation Democracy for a Sustainable Future. Sponsored by Partnership for Change (PfC)

18.30-19.00 Closing Remarks (Live streaming)


Club de Madrid Members, (former democratically elected Presidents and PM’s); Vaira Vike-Freiberga (Latvia), Jorge Fernando Quiroga (Bolivia) Kjell M. Bondevik (Norway); Felipe Calderón (Mexico); Kim Campbell (Canada); Ricardo Lagos (Chile); John Kufuor (Ghana); Sadiq al Mahdi (Sudan); Olesegun Obasanjo (Nigeria);  George Papandreu (Greece)Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan) or Jigme Yoser Tingley (Buthan) among others

ExpertsLarry Diamond from Stanford University and Professor JHH Weiler, President of the EUI; Roelf Meyer (former South African minister under F. W. De Klerk and Nelson Mandela and key facilitator of South Africa’s transition to democracy); Beatriz Merino (former Prime Minister of Peru); entrepreneurs and philanthropists like Mo Ibrahim and Steve Killelea, President of the Institute for Economics and PeaceGiovani Grevi (FRIDE), Ismael Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria

International organizations: Bertelsmann Stiftung, UN, OECD, SEGIB, Community of Democracies, Human Rights Watch, OXFAM, Partnership for Change, The Carter Center, IDEA, FLACSO, Carnegie Middle East Center, Microsoft, Acxiom, Library of Alexandria.

If you are interested in covering the 2014 Policy Dialogue or wish to request one to one interviews please visit and fill in the accreditation form in the Press Room Section.

Club de Madrid, Media Contacts:

Luis Pérez: +34 607 694 354 // + 34 91 154 82 38

Susana Mañueco: + 34 626 20 93 30 // + 34 154 82 36


RFKC Media Contacts: Europe: Valeria D’Agostino: + 39 055 5389250 // + 39 349 2210113, Jim Santel (US)

‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline?’, new ideas for the Next Generation Democracy

The Club de Madrid and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) have partnered to facilitate a discussion on the quality and the future of democracy. The meeting, to be hosted by the European University Institute in Florence on the 24th-25th of November, will bring together 40 Club de Madrid Members plus another 100 high level experts on democracy

With political disaffection and social unrest increasing around the world, the Policy Dialogue ‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action’ will identify action-orientated proposals to foster democracy in this challenging time. Plenary sessions will be broadcasted through the Club de Madrid website. Click here to see the program and preliminary list of participants

The Policy Dialogue, hosted by the European University Institute, will be a unique political, academic and civil society leaders gathering aimed at producing an analysis of the trends that have impacted democracy in the last 15 years; the signals of decline apparent across the world; and of how to reverse them. The Policy Dialogue will mark the beginning of a process aimed at producing new “democratic action agendas” for various regions of the world and thus improve the quality of the Next Generation’s Democracy around the globe.

Forty Club de Madrid Members (all of them democratically elected former Presidents and Prime Ministers) will provide the political insight. With kick-off contributions from the Club’s President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, (Latvia) and the RKF Center’s President, Kerry Kennedy, the confirmed lineup will include, among many others, leaders from Europe such as Romano Prodi (Italy); Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway); Tarja Halonen (Finland); Felipe González (Spain); Ruud Lubbers (Netherlands); and Boris Tadic (Serbia).  African representatives include Abdul-Kareem Al Eryani (Yemen); Sadiq Al Mahdi (Sudan) Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria); and Cassam Uteem (Mauritius). From the Americas: Kim Campbell (Canada); Felipe Calderón (Mexico); Ricardo Lagos (Chile) and Andrés Pastrana (Colombia); and from Asia, Chandrika Kumaratunga (Sri Lanka) and Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan).

International experts and practitioners, such as Larry Diamond from Stanford University; Roelf Meyer (former South African Minister under De Klerk and Mandela’s governments and key facilitator of South-African transition to democracy); Beatriz Merino (former Prime Minister of Peru) or Ismail Serageldin, co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and Director of the Library of Alexandria; entrepreneurs and philanthropists like Mo Ibrahim and Steve Killelea or the Slifka Foundation; multi-government and multilateral institutions, (UN, OECD, SEGIB, Community of Democracies); human rights organizations (Human Rights Watch); civil society (OXFAM, Partnership for Change); academia (Berstelman Stiftung, IDEA, FLACSO, Carnegie Endowment); and the private sector (Microsoft) will all be well represented in the conference.


The Policy Dialogue will be organized in plenary and break-out sessions. During the first day, working groups will review regional dynamics and main threats to democracy in different regions and propose possible responses. On the second day, participants will share the results of initial analyses, identify commonalities and differences among regions, and define the initial elements of NGD global and regional agenda.

 If you are interested in covering the 2014 Policy Dialogue or wish to request one to one interviews please visit and fill in the accreditation form in the Press Room Section.