Text and photo: Jan Kjær
“I believe in power to the people,” says Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, a young energetic and vocal Member of the Danish Parliament (MP).
57 DFC participants from different courses in Denmark have found their way to the Danida Fellowship Centre Café in Frederiksberg where Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen will discuss Danish Democracy with them.
Denmark’s zero tolerance on corruption
The 31 year old politician who has been an MP for the Social Democrats since 2011 is clear when it comes to accountability in a democracy:
“Don´t listen to any nonsense from your politicians if they are not taking care of the people. If they don´t take care, then protest. “
“And free media are essential in a democracy,” she adds.
The MP is very aware that democracy is a long term process. It has been for Denmark and it will be so for developing countries, too.
“I know it is so much easier said than done. And it takes time. But I am optimistic.”
Not all the participants share the optimism and a long discussion follows. Is democracy really the one viable form of governance?
Strong and ambitious
After the presentation and democracy discussion, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen is asked what she brings back home after meeting the participants from countries like Bhutan, Indonesia, Ghana, Tanzania, Benin and Uganda.
“It was very encouraging to meet people who are passionate in the discussions and eagerly looking for new perspectives. It is important to remember that in countries experiencing real struggles and lots of problems regarding governance, you meet people who are ambitious on behalf of their fellow citizens.”
Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen is also impressed by the interest for Danish gender equality.
“Many women in these discussions are strong and ambitious with their own strong views and would like to be equal participants in the development of their countries, but they have had more difficulties in doing so in their home countries than I have here in Denmark.”
Outside the DFC entrance Ane is talking to some of the course participants while holding her bike.
“Biking through Copenhagen is just the most convenient,” she smiles.