Trip to Montreal: 2023 Global Progress Action Summit - Website of the European Democrats
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Trip to Montreal: 2023 Global Progress Action Summit

As Secretary General of the European Democratic Party (EDP), I travelled to Montreal (Canada) to take part in the “2023 Global Progress Action Summit: Progress and Democracy” organised by the think tanks Canada 2020 and CAP Action (Centre for American Progress Action Fund).


We have established good contacts, particularly with CAP, as part of the PDE’s international strategy. CAP is the foundation set up by Bill Clinton. Canada 2020 is linked to Trudeau’s party. These two think tanks joined forces to organise the summit we attended, which was attended by the main Democratic and Reform leaders and representatives. The summit took place over two days. The first day was devoted to working groups on three themes: “Building an economy for all by investing in quality jobs”, “The climate crisis and the transition to clean energy” and “Restoring social trust in democracy in the digital age”. I took part in the third working group, where we discussed how to reconcile democracy, public confidence, and digital technology. I was then able to present the work carried out within the European Parliament, and more specifically, the DSA (Digital Service Act) and political advertising. I focused my presentation on the attention we pay to public trust and that we have legislated with this in mind: by taking measures to combat fake news, to protect the use of data, to moderate platforms, and so on. I repeated that our aim is to achieve greater transparency, that we want better protection against disinformation and foreign interference, and that we want a genuine single market in political advertising. It was interesting to be able to compare what has been done in the European Union with the rules in force in the United States and Canada, particularly as regards digital.

In the evening, I went to a dinner with Canadian journalists specialising in European politics. Once again, I was able to tell them about our progress and plans to strengthen democracy in the European Union and our strategy for the European elections in 2024. The second day was devoted to a series of panels with representatives from over fifteen countries, including Jacinda Arden (former Prime Minister of New Zealand), Sanna Marin (former Prime Minister of Finland), Jonas Gahr Store (Prime Minister of Norway), Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada), Keir Starmer (Leader of the British Labour Party), and Frans Timmermans (candidate to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands). The leaders took part in a panel discussion entitled “Progressive Leadership for a Decisive Decade”. Also present was Tony Blair, who spoke about the future of government: connecting modern politics to the age of innovation. The fight to protect the environment was also at the heart of the debate, with a panel entitled “Investing in quality jobs to tackle climate change” and another entitled “New pathways to prosperity and sustainability: The role of the state and strong communities in a rapidly changing economic paradigm”.

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I then met Tony Blair, with whom I was able to discuss our visions for the future of Europe, particularly with a view to the European elections and the many challenges we still have to face on key issues such as democracy, migration, digital technology, and the fight against global warming. In conclusion, these two days have been very enriching and have enabled us to set out the ideas that we defend every day as the European Democratic Party to achieve the Europe that we want, which cannot function without being open to allies such as the United States and Europe.

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