Carnegie Europe asks: Is the West Selling Itself Short?

Blog
Marietje

A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world: Is the West Selling Itself Short?

Marietje Schaake's answer: 

When looking at the quality of life for people in Western countries: absolutely. When looking at the sense of urgency to address the various challenges to liberal democracies: there is no time for complacency.

At a time when the pressures on democracy, open societies, open economies, and the open internet are growing, we need to stand firmly for what we believe in. Yet attacks on centrist parties by populists, nationalist, and anti-democratic forces have led to uncertainty and paralysis.

Simultaneously there are growing tensions within “the West,” not in the least between the EU and the United States.

If we do not want to sell ourselves short, we must stand more strongly for the values and benefits that set liberal democracies apart from others. That includes avoiding the erosion of those liberal democratic values from within. Celebrating what we are proud of should go hand in hand with a realization of how precious liberal democracy is, and that it is worth fighting for.