Club de Madrid presents its 2020-2022 strategy to address mounting challenges to democracy

World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) believes that democracy has the highest potential to deliver sustainable results in terms of peace and development. But democracy can take many forms. Mounting unresolved challenges, slow progress and strained, outdated structures indicate the need for democracy to continuously evolve in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing environment.   

With this in mind, WLA-CdM Presents its strategy for the next three years:


Download 2020-2022 Strategy

The organization will focus on the following thematic priorities:

Next Generation Democracy: This programme aims to tackle the need to redefine democracy in the digital era and the root causes of populism. WLA-CdM believes that achieving these targets will require steering popular demand of citizen-centred institutions from populism to an evidence-based, inclusive and tolerant approach to politics and policymaking. The project will focus on the democratic engagement of youth and intergenerational dialogue

Next Generation Democracy will also address women’s political empowerment and support democracy-building at the country level.    

Shared Societies: WLA-CdM’s longest-lasting project will prioritise the promotion and practical crafting of a Shared Societies approach in the implementation of Agenda 2030, emphasizing four policy areas: migration, inclusive economy, inclusive peace and education

Additionally, the project will work on messages that counter divisive political speeches and support the advancement of Shared Societies at a country level.    

Multilateralism and Global Cooperation: WLA-CdM observes a weakening of the rules-based multilateral system, fundamental to advance in all proposed strategic principles and in global policy action supported by the organization, like Agenda 2030. Urgent transnational challenges build up, partly due to a lack of coordinated policy action

Furthermore, an increasing number of political actors everywhere are calling for national-grown approaches rather than globally- or regionally -agreed solutions to challenges that are global by nature. 

As a result, WLA-CdM will make it a strategic priority to enable an inclusive global environment for democracy by supporting the multilateral system as the guarantor of inclusive, consensus-based and sustainable policy responses to transnational challenges. 

The forum of former Heads of State and Government will also foster dialogue with and among global powers to encourage their mutual understanding on critical global issues, particularly those affecting the possibility to advance democracy around the world.

An evolution of leadership

The organization’s programmatic strategy will leverage the voice and agency of the democratic, former Presidents and Prime Ministers that make up the Club de Madrid. While there is no shortage of advice today, WLA-CdM Members are uniquely placed to empathise with leaders who bear the responsibility of governance

Danilo Türk, President of WLA-CdM and former President of Slovenia, calls for “a radical evolution of democratic institutions and leadership” if democracies wish to meet the challenges and expectations of the next generation. 

“We hope to bring our individual and collective experience of democracy-building in a wide array of contexts to the service of the leaders of today, so that the history we bear can inform the history they are building”, he adds.

Three guiding principles to deliver change

WLA-CdM Members, former Heads of State and Government from over 70 countries from all continents share a common vision of a world made up of democratic states where the rule of law prevails and that deliver peace, social cohesion and sustainable development for all citizens. 

To move from vision to action, the Club de Madrid draws inspiration from three guiding principles:

Enrich reflections and broaden perspectives: WLA-CdM convenes Policy Dialogues that bring together Members, experts and influencers on global issues. Members bring their vast individual and collective policy making experience into these dialogues and act as a political sounding board for innovative ideas

Rally consensus: WLA-CdM builds bridges between political, social and business leaders on pathways to democratic change. WLA-CdM Members have the convening power to bring together multiple and often estranged stakeholders, engage them in discreet, action oriented exchanges and act as loudspeakers of democratic ideas when and if needed. The latter is best exemplified by those activities in which Members open up spaces for civil society to engage with decision-makers, bringing visibility to their policy options.

Encourage leadership: Democratic change often requires bold leadership. WLA-CdM Members work to encourage such leadership by providing peer-to-peer support to strengthen democracy, governance and inclusion. Lessons shared from Members’ political journeys can also inspire and empower future generations of leaders in inter-generational dialogues.