Contributors and participants for Demokratiuka - Democracy Week

Deltakere og program for 2022


Presentation of contributors and participants 2021

(new information for 2022 will be coming soon)

Photo: Stortinget

Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen is the President of the National Assembly of Norway, Stortinget.

She has been member of the National Assembly since 2013.

Photo: Council of Europe

Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary General for the Council of Europe

Bjørn Berge is a former Norwegian diplomat who has recently been elected as the first Norwegian Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and will give an opening statement to the conference. He has served as Secretary of the Committee of Ministers and Head of the Cabinet of SG Thorbjørn Jagland.

Read more about Bjørn Berge here.

Photo: The European Court of Human Rights

Keynote speaker: Robert Ragnar Spano. President of the European Court of Human Rights

Robert Ragnar Spano is the judge of Iceland, elected as president for the court for the current three-year period.

He will address the work of the European Court of Human Rights and elaborate on case-law pertaining to freedom of expression.

Case-law from the European Court of Justice is guiding the legal development in the member countries in these matters.

Read more about Robert Spano here.

Photo: Council of Europe

Keynote address: Director General Christos Giakoumopoulos

Christos Giakoumopoulos was appointed Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe on 1 August 2017.
He is one of Europe’s leading experts on human rights issues and his DG is responsible for overseeing the monitoring mechanisms for the commitments of member countries in the field of human rights and the rule of law.
He will address reflections and suggestions on the challenging balance of rights and responsibilities and describe the way forward in Europe on the issue of freedom of speech. He will also participate in a panel.

Read more about Giakoumopoulos here.

Photo: Tinius Trust

Kjersti Løken Stavrum, Chair of the Commission on freedom of Speech of the Norwegian Government.

Kjersti Løken Stavrum is a former journalist and editor, presently serving as CEO of the foundation Tinius og Blommenholm Industrier, which is the controlling owner of the media corporation Schibsted. Løken Stavrum is President of the Norwegian PEN and of the cultural foundation Cultiva in Kristiansand. She has also served as SG of the Norwegian Press Association. She is a political scientist and holds a Master’s degree in Management.

Photo: Strømmestiftelsen

Kristine Storesletten Sødal, director of Arkivet Center for peace and Human Rights, Kristiansand.

Kristine Storesletten Sødal has recently taken up the position as the new Director of ARKIVET Center for Peace and Human Rights, as from April 2021. She was formerly Secretary General of the development assistance association Strømmestiftelsen. Sødal is a Cand.philol and holds additional degrees in business management.   

Photo: Cambridge University


Atif Imitiaz, former Academic Director of Cambridge Muslim College.  

Atif Imitiaz is a former Academic Director of Cambridge Muslim College. He holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics on ‘Identity and the Politics of Representation. He is a leading representative in recent debates that affect the Muslim community.

Photo: Stortinget (The Norwegian parliament)

Thorbjørn Jagland, Norwegian politician and former Prime Minister, President of the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) and Minister of Foreign Affairs.  

Thorbjørn Jagland is a Norwegian politician and former prime minister, president of the Norwegian Storting and minister of foreign affairs. He was Norway’s Prime minister from 1996 to 1997, Minister of Foregin Affairs from 2000 to 2001, head of the Labour Party from 2002, and President of the Norwegian Parliament from 2005 to 2009. from 2009-2019 he was Secretary General for the Council of Europe.

Photo: Reportes without borders

Secretary General and Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders Paris, Christoph Deloire.

Secretary General and Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders Paris, Christoph Deloire.   Christophe Deloire is a French journalist who has been secretary-general and executive director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) since 2012. In 2018, he launched the Information and Democracy Initiative, which in 2019 led to the signing of a Partnership signed by 38 countries and the creation of the Forum on Information and Democracy, which he chairs. He ran one of the leading French journalism schools, the CFJ, from 2008 to 2012, and was an investigative reporter for the politics and society sections of the French news magazine Le Point from 1998 to 2007. He has also worked for the TV channels ARTE and TF1, made documentary films, edited several authors and written several bestsellers.

Photo: Private

William Horsley is responsible for media freedom in the European journalist organization.

William Horsley is the Media Freedom Representative of the Association of European Journalists and AEJ UK Chairman. He was a long-standing BBC Foreign News Correspondent and is now writing for BBC News Online, The World Today (Chatham House), Standpoint magazine and other publications. He is also International Director of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield and works with the UK National Commission for UNESCO and has chaired and co-organised the annual World Press Freedom Day debates in the UK each year since 2007 on behalf of UNESCO and the UK Press Freedom Network of 20 media and human rights organisations.


Photo: Council of Europe

Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for democracy in the Council of Europe.

Snežana Samardžić-Marković is the Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe since 2012. Under her responsibility, the Directorate General works to help the member states in creating a favourable environment for sustainable democracy and democratic security in Europe.

Samardžić-Marković has formerly held numerous positions in the Serbian Government including as Assistant Minister of Defence (2005-2007), Minister of Youth and Sports (2007-2012), Deputy Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Neighbouring Countries and Secretary of Embassy at the Embassy in Oslo. She was a Co-President of the Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group and member of the Foundation Board of WADA.

Read more about Snežana Samardžić-Marković here

Photo: European Comission

Louisa Klingvall, Team Leader, Fundamental rights Policy Unit, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers Unit C.2 Fundamental rights Policy, European Commission, Brussels

Louisa Klingvall works in the Fundamental Rights Unit of the European Commission DG Justice since 2012. Her main focus of work comprises fundamental rights aspects in the Commissions Digital Single Market files. In this capacity, she has been closely involved in the Commissions work on illegal content, disinformation and more recently, artificial intelligence. She is a team leader charged with ensuring the overall coordination of the anti-racism team and consistency of legal and policy outputs and of the team managing the Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech online.

Photo: Private

Maja Fleck-Baustian, student at the University of Agder og founder and Chairman of the board for Youth for Diversity, Agder.

Maja Charlotte Fleck-Baustian studies civil economics: She is born in Norway. Her father has a Norwegian/German heritage, whereas her mother is from Hungary. She is soon to turn 20, speaks five languages and has lived in four countries growing up. In addition to her studies, she runs her own organization, Youth for Diversity, Agder (YDA). The organization aims to break down stereotypes and misconceptions. She will head a panel of youth leaders discussing solutions regarding challenges of maintaining democracy and the importance and protection of freedom of expression.


Photo: Norwegian National Human Rights institution

Anine Kierulf, Associate professor and Special adviser at the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution, Oslo


Anine Kierulf is Associate Professor of constitutional law at the University of Oslo Department of Public and International Law, and a special advisor to the Norwegian National human rights institution, where she was Research Director from 2017-2020. Her main areas of research are constitutional law, human rights and freedom of expression. She is a frequent participant in public and academic debates, and she will be moderating the Panel on freedom of expression. 

Photo: Fædrelandsvennen

Vidar Udjus, Politcal Editor, Fædrelandsvennen

Vidar Udjus is a politcal scientist and journalist who has held the position as political editor of Fædrelandsvennen since 2010. He is a former diplomat, and has served i.a. at the Norwegian Embassy in Riyadh. He is a frequent participant in public debates on political affairs. He will be moderating the panel on media freedom.

Photo: Anne-Lise Norheim

Torbjørn Urfjell, Director of culture and citizen dialogue, Kristiansand municipality.

Urfjell will be moderating the conference.


High resolution images of participants at the European Conference 2021


Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen

Bjørn Berge 

Robert Ragnar Spano

Christos Giakoumopoulos

Bjørn Berge 

Kjersti Løken Stavrum

Christoph Deloire

Kristine Storesletten Sødal

Maja Fleck-Baustian 

Torbjørn Jagland

Atif Imtiaz

Snezana Markovic

William Horsley

Anine Kjærulf

Vidar Udjus

Torbjørn Urfjell

Louisa Klingvall