EAPC – Charter for Democracy
Democracy is one of the highest achievements and values, that characterizes, challenges and holds together the societies of European countries. Democracy is by no means a matter of course, it is not a simple technocratic mechanism to produce generally binding rules and laws. It is just not any political system among others. Democracy is the most precious form of human coexistence which has fought for and developed over centuries and generations. It takes a lot. It’s always at risk. Democracy has to be permanently lived and renewed. Only 40% of all countries in the world are Democracies today. And even in these, the danger and signs of erosion are increasing unmistakably. In Europe too.
The undermining of democratic rules, attacks on the independent judiciary, restrictions of freedom of the press and increasing social and political polarisation to paving the way for authoritarian leadership, are threatening signs and signals.
For Political Consultants the existence and the functioning of Democracy is the indis-pensable base for our daily work and for our whole profession. We are servants in the free and public competition on power, according the common rules in Democracies. We are committed to helping our client in this battles in the best possible way. But even in the toughest political fight that is our job, we always have to be aware of our responsibility to protect Democracy, as good as we can. As we are always, instead of our partisan mission, important Gatekeepers of Democracy too.
As Political Consultants and members of EAPC, we strongly oppose developments in which candidates, parties or governments deny the rules of Democracy, challenge election results that do not meet their expectations, discredit political opponents, condone or even encourage violence, attack the judiciary, silence journalists and protesters, and restrict civil rights step by step.
As Political Consultants, we also support and promote the unwritten rules of Democracy, such as mutual tolerance, mutual respect and institutional openness. By never seeing political opponents as enemies or criminals and by preventing actions that undermine Democracy, even if they are not illegal.
We do this by not working for candidates, parties and governments that show tendencies in this direction, and by pointing out these tendencies.
In our daily work, we pledge never to allow or to be part of practices such as deliberate misleading, use of unethical methods against EAPC Code of Conduct, discrimination against dissenters, dissemination of fake news, concealment of identity, covert incite-ment to violence the unreasonable, obstruction of the exercise of the right to vote or electoral fraud.
As members of the EAPC, each one of us will do our best to mentor young colleagues in our association to work together to counter tendencies that undermine the written and unwritten principles of Democracy.
Democracy as one of the highest achievements and values of the societies in European countries and beyond, is our common ideal as Political Consultants. It is our constant and everlasting task to preserving, to protecting, to allowing Democracy to flourish in Europe and beyond. To bring the ideal of Democracy into everyday practical applications.