Democracy is the fundamental characteristic of Western nations, as well as a soft-power asset. As such, free and fair elections are a core part of the practice of democracy. However, recent cases have shown democratic nations to be vulnerable to hostile objectives. The principles of journalistic freedom and free speech can be exploited to undermine the very values they defend. Moreover well-established regulations do not deter creative actors in their attempts to break the rules. Audiences are now targeted with methods that have previously been used only within the military, which raises ethical questions when trying to address and counter such such operations.
Through various case studies, this panel will look at the channels used by foreign actors to influence democratic electoral processes, how nations have dealt with these threats, as well as how they are trying to limit future risks. Three subpanels will then provide more in-depth analysis of domains that our nations should consider when improving their electoral systems: ethics, law, and campaigning.
Moderator: Mr Bob Posner (Director of Political Finance and Regulation & Legal Counsel, UK Electoral Commission)
Speakers: Prof Arnaud Mercier (Panthéon-Assas University), Mr Mikk Marran (Director General, Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service), Mr Carlos Malamud (Senior Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute).