EPD joint statement: Democratic principles in a time of crisis

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires crisis management by governments around the world. In these exceptional circumstances, lives will depend on rapid and effective government action.

At the same time, it is essential that such action enjoys the consent and support of the people in each country who recognise that the government is acting to protect the public. A crisis is no justification for undermining democracy.

For authoritarian governments, a crisis can be an opportunity to consolidate power, legitimatising crackdowns through evoking an existential threat to the nation. For emerging democracies, there is a risk that legitimate measures to address public health will undermine progress in consolidating transparency and accountability.” […]