The phenomenon of fake news, misinformation and confusion “are more present than ever in our societies, in the context of the current crisis”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, said on Tuesday, in the opening of the video-conference organized by the Community of Democracies (CoD) where he also spoke of the need for a “digital democracy”.
The video conference had the theme “Enabling Democratic Governance Through Technology”, in the context of Romania’s holding the CoD’s current Presidency. The central objective of the event was to share good practices on the use of technology to improve and support democratic governance.
Minister Bogdan Aurescu welcomed the tackling of this essential topic for supporting and promoting democratic processes, stating that this is one of the priorities of the Romanian Presidency in leading the CoD.
“The phenomenon of fake news, misinformation and confusion are more present than ever in our societies, in the context of the current crisis. A positive digital democracy can be strengthened by exchanging good practices and lessons learned on how to counter online misinformation, on how to develop self-regulation functions in social media, and all this while being more proactive in terms of accountability and transparency standards,” the minister said, according to the speech broadcast by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
The head of the Romanian diplomacy presented our country’s experience in the field of digital transformations, with emphasis on the effort to ensure the increase of transparency, efficiency and accountability at the level of public administration, as well as of an efficient interoperability of IT systems.
“We are convinced that the digitalisation of these areas will help reduce bureaucracy, attract investment and increase the citizens’ satisfaction with public services – something that will lead to the strengthening of the social contract on which our democracy is based,” the head of the Romanian diplomacy maintained.
He also spoke about the fact that “Romania is often proud of the country’s Internet services as being among the fastest in the EU”.
“We believe that digitalisation is an opportunity for all and we believe in an open, free and secure Internet,” he added.
According to the MAE, Minister Aurescu welcomed the creation at CoD level of the Working Group dedicated to Democracy and Technology, mandated to analyze technological solutions to support effective and accountable democratic governance at the international level, as well as to formulate recommendations for the CoD Governing Council on specific topics.
The event was also attended by the Secretary General of the Community of Democracies, Thomas Garrett, the Executive Director of the Digital Impact and Governance Initiative at the New America Foundation, Tomicah Tillemann, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, Lasha Darsalia, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office for Democracy, Scott Busby, as well as government, private and civil society representatives.
Romania is holding the Presidency of the Community of Democracies between September 2019 and September 2021, with the main objectives of facilitating the involvement of young people in democratic processes, promoting democracy globally, as the only system that guarantees prosperity and sustainable development, and the relationship between democratic processes and technology.