Democratic forum ‘How to transform the populism from threat to a challenge of learning about democracy’ was held at the Hilton hotel.
The forum was organized by the Center for Civic Education in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). A representative of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro participated in the forum.The focus of the Forum was the rise of populism in the world and in the region and its impactt on democratic society .The rise of populism seriously threatens society of equality and tolerance, creates an atmosphere of intolerance based not on facts but on socially desirable rhetoric thus producing damiaging effects. Therefore, the rise of state supported populism, rise of right wing politics and their effect on democracy, revision of history in the Western Balkans, democracy between reality and myth, decline of democratic values were some of the topics included in panel discussions. The first democratic forum was opened by Zoran Pazin, Deputy Prime Minister, who for years held lectures in the School of democracy. He believes that the issue of populism is opened and that it has pejorative meaning. He also notes that politicians do not like to be associated with populism, but that most of them use populist methods. Dr Jelena Džankić is concerned that populism is a threat to the Western Balkans. ‘Populism was strongly present during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic. The Balkan countries should jointly work against right-wing extremism and populism. It is a great responsibility for the leaders and citizens should embrace diversity, ” she said. Professor Cedomir Cupic also regards right-wing populism as a threat to democratic values ” Every populism is a threat to democratic societies. Underdeveloped countries are particulary susceptible to populism, and the major countries use populism to control them. You can not talk about democracy when people aren’t free ” said Cupic. Professor Zlatko Puhovski said that populism is a response to the crisis of democracy. ‘Populism is particularly evident in post-communist countries. Democracy is merely a form and it accepts both good and bad people. Populism is a shortcut to profits, ” he said. Democratic forum brought together about 50 participants from previous generations of the School of democracy who perform various and important roles in social and political, cultural and economic life and in the non-governmental sector.