- December 11, 2023
- December 14, 2023
The Aspen Institute Germany in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro hosted a high-level conference in Podgorica, on December 11-14, 2023, entitled “Digitalization and Democracy”.
Digital developments are increasingly influencing the core aspects of democratic life. They can strengthen democratic processes and improve social participation, inclusion, and equality. Alternatively, they can undermine democratic institutions and reinforce social inequalities. Different approaches are therefore needed to successfully shape the interplay between democracy and digitalization. Policy and regulatory challenges such as data protection or the promotion of political digital media competences are central aspects here. The conference explored how democratic values can be strengthened in the digital space, focusing on two topics: combating disinformation and hate speech, and cyber resilience.
The aim of this conference was to offer a platform for high-level participants from the Western Balkans, Germany, the EU, and international and regional organizations to discuss and identify central challenges and opportunities of digitalization in the Western Balkans. How can media diversity be promoted in the Western Balkans? How can distance between politics and the media be maintained or restored? Under which regulations should social media be placed? What contribution can and should the EU make to combating disinformation in the Western Balkans? What is the role of multinational companies such as Google or Meta? How can media literacy be better integrated into the education systems of the Western Balkans? How can cyber resilience be improved? Are there opportunities for regional cooperation on digital security issues? How can cooperation regarding cyber resilience between the Western Balkans and the EU be strengthened? These questions and others were considered at our conference.
This event was part of the project “Western Balkans Initiative: Engagement for Progress and Stability” kindly supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.