Storming the Capitol:
What are the lessons for Democracy?

Photo: Reuters • https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/PROTESTS/qmyvmqewmvr

EAPC Statement on the events of January 6, 2021 in Washington/USA

EAPC: Working together to strengthen our democracy

The events of January 6, 2021, the storming of the Capitol building in Washington, USA, on the day of the official confirmation of the results 
of the US presidential election shocked, horrified and shook democracy worldwide.

storming-capitol-magana

AP Photo: Jose Luis Magana

EAPC, the European Association of Political Consultants, condemns this unprecedented action by a radical right-wing militant group which was also incited to act by an outgoing president, in the strongest possible terms. This act shows where a policy leads that is permanently fueled by lies and agitation, and that breaks, questions and undermines all the rules of the game that has been respected by all sides for decades.

We, as European political consultants and advisors, share concern, our horror and our firm rejection of these practices with our US-American colleagues. That democracy is ultimately capable of defending its values convincingly was demonstrated by the smooth certification of the election results right after these devastating hours for democracy. As is always the case with such painful events, the question is not only who is to blame, but especially about the cause. The quality of democracy has declined dramatically around the world in recent decades. 

The deliberate spreading of lies and false reports, the permanent playing off of groups “we and the others”, agitation, the war of words, the loss of mutual respect, and the exclusion of groups with different opinions, has also led to a division of society in numerous European countries.
We must all be aware that only by acting together, by involving all political interests, through respect and honest politics for the good of all, we can shape our future humanely. Therefore, it must be a must for all political consultants in Europe and in the world to firmly reject campaigns that do not respect the rules of democracy, spread lies and hatred and thus divide our society, must be firmly rejected.

The EAPC will take this so appalling action in the USA as an opportunity to develop, in the context of an intensive discussion with all members, a “Charter for Democracy” that will provide guidance to all consultants in the future.

Valuing and strengthening democracy together must be our first concern.