Democracy is under attack in Europe as the assumptions that underpinned the development of the European Union during more than six decades following World War II are now under question. Illiberal governments are burgeoning in Poland and Hungary. Britain is mired in crisis over its planned withdrawal from the EU in March. A nationalist, populist wave has seen right-wing governments come to power in Italy, Austria and other countries. The European project’s previously stalwart leader, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, is on her way out, and her would-be successor, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, is unpopular and confronted by protests. And the main guarantor of transatlantic security, the United States, is led by one of the alliance’s most bitter critics.

Seeking to address these issues, the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group (TDWG) was launched last year as a bipartisan platform for discourse and coordination to address democratic backsliding in key NATO and EU countries, with a focus on one of the key battlegrounds: the post-Soviet bloc countries of Central Europe. TDWG includes more than 65 former senior government officials, national security experts and others committed to the protection of democratic institutions and principles in defense of collective security.

Join Director Susan Corke and founding steering committee co-chairs Jeff Gedmin and Norm Eisen for the inaugural episode of The Cable podcast—a production of TDWG and the Institute of Current World Affairs in Washington. They discuss the working group’s mission—prioritizing a core value of the transatlantic alliance: that our democratic foundation is our security—in what may be a pivotal year ahead.

Subscribe to The Cable on iTunes, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.




Director, Transatlantic Democracy Working Group

Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States




Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, 2011-2014




Editor-in-Chief, The American Interest

Former President, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty






Executive Director, Institute of Current World Affairs

Journalist, author of Russians: The People Behind the Power



The Cable is produced by Rebecca Picard.

Lead image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto | copyright: SteveAllenPhoto