International Cooperation

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International cooperation suffers from a democratic deficit and a lack of interest from the general public.

If the EU is going to become a democracy, and if the UN and similar institutions are going to be democratic and protect democracy and its principles, they will be so only if we make them! This means that each and every one of us has to think of ourselves as more than just Chinese, American, Chilean, Pakistani, Danish or whatever nationality we are. We don't have to deny or repress our nationality or stop being patriotic, but we also need to become citizens of the world, and we need to demand of our politicians that they are too.

Moreover, we need to find meaningful ways of being together around the globe. In other words, we lack global public awareness. The internet is on its way to creating opportunities for it through, for example, Facebook and a website like www.ted.com - and there are probably many other possibilities, but we also need to meet physically across geographical and cultural boundaries, and have some good experiences and create communities together. It sounds banal and, in fact, it is too.

A practical place to start in many democratic countries would be to reward every kind of democratic organisation which has immigrants and foreigners on its board. The reward for these organisations could be in the form of reduced taxes, free premises or similar. This would create some actual experience with voluntary cooperation starting from different cultural assumptions.

To the extent that people from countries without democracy and no democratic experience got the opportunity to participate in committee work, it would also help to spread knowledge about how democracy works in practice.


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