January 02, 2024 #ChileDemocratic #ChileGlobal

Chile: full democracy even in difficult times

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During 2023, our country strengthened its role as a promoter of the democratic model in Latin America and the world, demonstrating its commitment to strengthening its society, as well as to global challenges. 

Chile is today a full democracy, according to the Democracy Index 2023, prepared by the Intelligence Unit of The Economist. According to the study, Chilean democracy was ranked 19th in the "full democracy" ranking, six points higher than the previous year. This evaluation is reinforced by the report Freedom in the World 2023, by the NGO Freedom House, in whose index our country ranks third in America, only surpassed by Canada and Uruguay.

The process of expansion of freedoms and civil rights in Chile in recent decades, recognized and valued internationally, is at the heart of the confidence we generate in the world and has boosted a sustained increase in foreign investment in Chile. "Our democratic convictions are based, as demonstrated by the recent constituent development, on respect for the processes of participation, deliberation and collective decision-making that emerge from our institutions, of which Chileans have been active protagonists in recent years," said Rossana Dresdner, executive director of the Fundación Imagen de Chile.

In the case of the development of the Green Hydrogen industry in Chile, it has had important support from the European community, which was expressed in June with the signing of two cooperation agreements for the development of this biofuel.

In a context marked by geopolitical challenges and global difficulties, which have led to stagnation, or even setbacks or little improvement in the quality of democratic institutions at the global level, the solidity of Chilean institutionality stands out even more. As the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, pointed out in the framework of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup d'état, "today's solid Chilean democracy allows us to hope that humanity, united in its diversity, can solve any global challenge".

Currently, the positive evaluation of our country translates into concrete benefits, from holding the "most powerful" passport in Latin America -15th globally according to the Henley & Partners index-, having the most powerful network of Free Trade Agreements in the world -with access to more than 60% of the world's GDP-, and being recognized as an active participant in the international political scenario. 

Chile's role in world geopolitics

During 2023, the challenges facing our planet became more evident. Food security, development of renewable energies, as well as actions to mitigate the climate crisis were some of the topics on the agenda, areas in which Chile is not only innovating, but also has significant support from the international community, mainly due to the country's solid institutional framework. 

This is the case of the development of the Green Hydrogen industry in Chile, which has received important support from the European community, which was expressed in June with the signing of two cooperation agreements for the development of this biofuel. "This is one of the most important projects we can embark on together. This Renewable Hydrogen Fund here in Chile will support the development of this strategic industry. It will create good jobs in the country, and boost its renewable hydrogen exports to the world and, of course, also to its partners, such as the European Union," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to the country.

It was only a couple of weeks later that the international press highlighted Chile's role during the CELAC and EU summit, where media outlets such as the business newspaper Handelsblatt highlighted the figure of President Gabriel Boric, in an article entitled "The savior of the summit". "In Latin America, Chileans have a reputation for being reliable and serious. Gabriel Boric, the president of Chile, has just shown at the Brussels summit that there must be some truth in that cliché," the German media outlet asserted, referring to the signing with the EU of a declaration of intent for close future cooperation on raw material value chains. "We are like-minded, share the same values and are chosen partners to become key global players in clean energy and the digital transition," von der Leyen again asserted.

Constituent process and the Chilean model

Since the return to democracy in the late 80's, our country has been consolidated in the eyes of the world for its respect for institutions, its electoral system, and the ability to resolve differences through them. In 2019, after the social outbreak, the world's attention was focused on the Chilean constituent process, which was initiated through a broad agreement between the different political spectrums, and which led to three popular plebiscites. 

The debate, which ran from 2019 to 2023, was closely followed by the international media, in a context in which other countries in the region were facing similar problems and democracy was being called into question. In 2021, the British media BBC News stated that "...in a convulsive climate in Latin America, exacerbated by the pandemic and with Colombia as the most current example, what is happening in Chile is observed as a possible example of how to address social grievances with a democratic process that renews the State".

The development of this process, both the participation and the transversal respect for the results, show a way of resolving differences that is already part of the Chilean idiosyncrasy. A democratic way.


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