Pahor calls for respectful dialogue at Biden’s democracy summit

Washington/Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor took part on Thursday in a virtual summit for democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden to draw attention to the crisis of confidence in democratic institutions and the low level of political and legal culture. He called for a respectful dialogue that includes the willingness to reconcile different views.

In his video address, Pahor said Slovenia and other countries could and must do more for liberal democracy, which was based on the rule of law and full respect for human rights.

But, as he stressed, democracy does not only mean functioning democratic institutions, but also a high level of political and legal culture.

“We have been feeling a crisis of trust in democratic institutions lately. What is equally, and perhaps even more worrying, is the low level of political and legal culture,” the Slovenian president added.

Pahor sees the problem not in differences in political and ideological views, but in a lack of willingness for a dialogue. “A dialogue that means not only presenting one’s own views, but also willingness to reconcile different views.”

He believes that if such a dialogue is not established, the divisions and polarisation in and between societies will only deepen. Constructive cooperation is the only way to peacefully resolve all problems, Pahor added.

The Slovenian president is one of more than 100 world leaders who have or will take part in the virtual summit for democracy hosted on Thursday and Friday by US President Joe Biden.

The summit is expected to deliver a message about the US making a return as an advocate of democracy and human rights as the number of authoritarian governments in the world is growing.