Symposium: Political and Legal Symposium at the European Forum Alpbach
Liberty and security are integral to our democracy. The democratic state is tasked with guaranteeing the security of its citizens without jeopardising their individual liberties. Where the right balance lies between liberty and security is something politicians have to decide on the basis of fundamental and human rights and then implement in law. Finding this balance and consistently reassessing it is a recurrent challenge for liberal democracies.
Who or what is behind the upsurge in illiberal political tendencies, for example, the sudden desire of the majority to get rid of minority rights? How can we explain the growing willingness to sacrifice ever more freedoms to a need for security? Have we given up striving for a balance between liberty and security? How might a new balance be found?
The programme of the Political Symposium and the Legal Symposium is made up of four programme tracks:
1) Strengthening democracy and the rule of law
2) Protecting civil and human rights
3) Working together with the EU and its partners
4) Facilitating sustainability transformations
While each of the four tracks adresses legal and political/policy questions, most of the legal questions are dealt with in the areas of “Strengthening democracy and the rule of law” and “Protecting civil and human rights”.