LEND Network Participants Gather in Stockholm

April 18, 2013

Government and civil society representatives from Tunisia and Moldova, members of the LEND Network for leaders engaged in new democracies, participated in the Network's meeting in Stockholm on April 11-12.

Previous LEND Network Face-to-Face meeting were held in Moldova and Tunisia. For the first time, selected high-rank representatives of both countries had a chance to meet their counterparts in person.

They were joined by the Network's advisors, who assist the participants throughout the year, such as Club de Madrid members- former PM of Canada, Kim Campbell, former PM of the Netherlands, Wim Kok, and former PM of Romania, Petre Roman.

The main goal of the meeting was to evaluate the Networ's functioning and to strategically craft its next steps. Participants and advisors of the Network suggested a variety of constructive ideas for improvement of the Network and its functionality, both on technical and substantive aspects, while acknowledging the importance and the extremelt positive potential the Network holds for leaders in emerging democracies. As Senior Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ambassador Olof Ehrenkrona, stated during the meeting: "It is extremely important to have a political leadership that is aware of its responsibility in the changing world. It is a world that suggests a lot of new possibilities, but also a lot of responsibilities, and the temptation of politicians to use new technology in bad ways is immense".

In the context of the democratization process in both countries, participants discussed the political challenges they face, on which the Network tries to give guidance and assistance. Debated topics included issues such as transitional justice and corruption, governmental human resources during transition, fiscal reforms, social policy, and constitution writing.

The LEND Network is housed under a working group within the Community of Democracies. It leverages expertise from the Club de Madrid, the world's largest forum of democratically elected former presidennts and prime ministers, and 21st century technologies developed by Google, OpenText and Dialcom to connect leaders who have successfully navigated the challenges of democratization, with leaders in emerging democracies.