According to Forbes, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the Davos Agenda summit on Tuesday that world leaders are concerned the Trump presidency may have permanently damaged democracy.
Von der Leyen started her speech at the summit stating that her bilateral concerns with the U.S. last year were focussed on tariffs, but a year later “we are worrying about whether democracy itself might have been permanently damaged in the last four years.”
Pointing to the “darker sides” of digital platforms, the EU chief talked about defending institutions against “the corrosive power of hate speech, disinformation, fake news and incitement to violence.”
Pointing to new EU proposals that would require social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to police their platform better and unveil their algorithms, von der Leyen called on the new U.S. administration to work with Europe on regulatory issues.
Von der Leyen said that the global community "must nurture our democracy every day and defend our institutions against the corrosive power of hate speech, of disinformation, fake news, and incitement to violence."
She added: "And in a world where polarizing opinions are the loudest, it is a short step from crude conspiracy theories to the death of a police officer, and unfortunately the storming of the Capitol Hill showed us how just true that is.”
Forbes noted that a number of “heads of state from all over the world reacted with shock and horror after a mob of Trump supporters violently invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the scenes of the riot made her “furious” and “sad,” while she rebuked Trump’s refusal to concede, stating: “Doubts about the election were stoked, and that set the atmosphere that made the night’s events possible.”
French President Macron also expressed concern about “supporters of an outgoing president [taking] arms to challenge the legitimate results of an election.”