Democracy Without Borders

Four years after the launch of "Democracy Without Borders" at the Locarno Festival, the FDFA's initiative ended in August 2018. An array of Swiss celebrities contributed to the initiative by raising public awareness of Swiss development cooperation issues and projects.

Bastian Baker standing in a group of people.
Democracy Without Borders project ambassador Bastian Baker is working in Egypt for sustainable development along the Nile.

The Democracy Without Borders initiative was launched in 2014 by then Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter. To raise public awareness of SDC projects and key development cooperation issues, the initiative enlisted the help of Swiss celebrities, known as 'project ambassadors', including some 20 former politicians and artists, journalists and entrepreneurs. The Democracy Without Borders initiative was completed on schedule in 2018 four years after it was launched. Through its activities on issues like the promotion of democracy, support for civil society, vocational education and training, and the fight against violence against women, the initiative has enriched the public discourse on Switzerland's cooperation with developing countries. 

Ten Democracy Without Borders events have been held, mainly in Switzerland, but also in SDC partner countries. A major highlight of Democracy Without Borders was a concert given by Swiss pop star Bastian Baker with Egyptian musicians in Cairo in 2016 under the banner of cultural exchanges. During his tour of Egypt, Bastian Baker also visited Swiss water projects on the Nile. 

Another Democracy Without Borders milestone was a visit by Honduran partner organisations of the SDC to the International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training in Winterthur and to several Swiss industrial enterprises. The Honduran delegation gained insights into the Swiss dual vocational education and training system, which has now been introduced in the Honduran construction and hotel sectors with adjustments to local circumstances. Another highlight was an event organised with the University of Zurich on the possibilities for and limits to the promotion of democracy in developing countries.

Last update 03.05.2023

  • The Nile Project in Egypt aims to facilitate dialogue and exchanges in the Nile Valley: Students develop initiatives to encourage better use of water resources

  • Support for the democratic transition process in Tunisia: since the political upheavals in 2011, Switzerland has carried out various projects in order to promote democracy and human rights

  • Breaking out of the vicious circle of poverty and violence thanks to vocational training: Switzerland is promoting the dual education and training system in Honduras

  • Job prospects for young people and disadvantaged population groups in Myanmar: Switzerland supports women and men with training courses.

  • Support for victims of sexual violence in the Great Lakes Region: Switzerland provides medical, psychosocial and legal assistance.

  • The ambassadors put their expertise and experience at the service of development cooperation projects.

  • Get a glimpse of the activities taking place as part of the Democracy without Borders initiative.

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