The aim of the Centre for Democratic Integrity (CDI), founded in February 2020 by Anton Shekhovtsov, is to monitor and analyse attempts of authoritarian regimes based on non-democratic value systems to wield malign influence in Europe.
We see malign influence in the European context as directly or indirectly subverting and undermining European values and democratic institutions. We follow the Treaty on European Union in understanding European values that are the following: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Democratic institutions are guardians of European values, and among them we highlight:
- representative political parties that aggregate, organise and articulate citizens’ political demands, translate these demands into policy proposals, engage citizens in the democratic process, provide the basis for coordinated legislative activity, and advance government accountability;
- free and fair elections in which voters should be able to form opinions independently and free of violence or threats of violence, compulsion, or manipulative interference of any kind;
- an impartial justice system free of discrimination or favouritism;
- free, independent and pluralistic media that provide objective and accurate reporting, guarantee access to diverse views and meaningful opinions, monitor public officials, foster democratic debate, and encourage active involvement of citizens in political and social life;
- a robust civil society that holds public institutions accountable on issues of democracy and human rights, helps preserve democratic vibrancy, presents opportunities for collective action, builds community cohesion, and helps citizens articulate their interests and demands.