24 February 2022
Political speech is free. At the same time, one should be aware that it transmits powerful messages to people who feel represented. This is essential in order for people living in a democracy to be able to form opinions and make an informed decision about how to use their vote.
This competition between ideas requires a shared foundation of values and rules – we must be open to hearing different opinions, show respect, treat one another fairly and, not least, accept scientific findings and facts.
The political debate around elections in various parts of the world has shown that this foundation is not as stable as it once was. Defamation, slander and verbal abuse of politicians are gaining ground online alongside the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories. Hate speech is coming to threaten the democratic process as a whole questioning how can our democracies treat the growing popularity of intolerance, which if becoming majority would tear our democracies apart and directly impact regional cooperation.
We will talk about this and much more, in the first panel of our inter-regional FIRE Conference that takes place at Tirana International Hotel from 1-3 March, a conference that gathers more than 100 politicians, journalists, experts, civil society representatives and much more
Our illustrious panellists of the hate in political discourse panel (2 March, 10.00-11.30) are:
Mr. Erion Velijaj – Mayor of Tirana, Tirana
Mr. Nikola Dimitrov – Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Skopje
Ms. Sabina Cudic – Member of House Representatives, Sarajevo
Mr. Uran Ismaili – Former Minister of Health, Prishtina
Mr. Igor Bandovic – Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Belgrade
Ms. Karolina Zbytniewska – Editor in Chief at EURACTIV, Gdansk
A panel moderated by Norbert Sinkovic, lecturer in the Philosophy University of Novi Sad and Chairman of the managing board of Independent Journalists Association of Vojvodina
The inter-regional “Promote Culture of Tolerance, and Mutual Respect” Conference is co-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the International Visegrad Fund.