IMS at The Bornholm People’s Political Festival

The People’s Political Festival is a unique meeting of citizens, politicians, private sector and civil society set on the island of Bornholm from 15 – 18 June. IMS will be there leading on a number of explosive debates ranging from fake news in conflict countries to the point of Danish media support in the MENA region.

The People’s Political Festival is an opportunity for citizens to challenge power holders on a variety of issues ranging from local and domestic to foreign policies in debates gathering some of Denmark’s sharpest opinion leaders.

Here is an overview of the five panel debates organised by IMS:


What’s the point of the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP)?

The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme was launched in 2003. But what good is Danish development support to the Middle East?

When: 15 June, 16:30-17:30
Where: Indermolen G27 at The People’s Political Festival

Since 2003, Denmark has supported a number of countries in the Middle East as part of the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) – formerly known as The Arab Initiative. But where is DAPP today? What difference does Danish development aid to the Middle East make, when developments in most countries in the region have moved in a worrisome direction since the Arab spring?

International Media Support and The Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute invite you for a discussion on what difference, if any, support to media and civil society in the MENA region can make in the current context.


  • Hans Christian Korsholm Nielsen, Director at The Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute
  • Michael Irving, Director of the MENA-office at International Media Support
  • Helle Malmvig, Middle East researcher at Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)
  • Moderated by Janne Andersen, online editor at Magasinet Udvikling.

Description of event in Danish

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Iraq after ISIS – from war to nation

Denmark in Iraq: When is it time to focus on rights and freedom of expression rather than bombs and humanitarian assistance?

When: 16 June, 09:00-10:00
Where: Kæmpestranden J38 at The People’s Political Festival

Iraq has been at war since 2003. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the country or lost their lives. The infrastructure and governing institutions are in ruins. While Denmark has been partaking in the war against ISIS in Iraq, long-term development has not been a Danish priority in recent years.

International Media Support invites you to a debate about future Danish development priorities for Iraq, and on what role rights and media could – and should – play in the reconstruction of the country. Does Denmark as a belligerent nation have a particular responsibility to fulfill in Iraq?


  • Osama Al-Habahbeh, Iraq Programme Manager, International Media Support
  • Waleed Safi, journalist, Information who covers Iraq
  • Gert Meinecke, Danish ambassador to Iraq
  • Moderated by Anja Al-Erhayem, journalist and TV-host

Description of event in Danish

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Can we trust the media’s coverage of the conflict in Syria?

How does fake news and misinformation in media coverage in a warfare situation impact on the conflict and its actors? We look at the case of Syria.

When: 16 June, 15:00-16:00
Where: Allinge Røgeri/Bibliotek F12 at The People’s Political Festival

Propaganda works best in the shadows of and on the brink of facts. International Media Support and The Danish Journalist Union invite you to a debate on how the Danish and Syrian media address fake news and propaganda as part of their coverage. A lot is at stake: Misinformation contributes to undermining the idea of objective facts and the trust in media.


  • Rasmus Tantholdt,international correspondent, TV2
  • Henrik Grunnet, Programme Manager at International Media Support
  • Thomas Elkjer Nissen, military analyst at The Academy of Defense.
  • Moderated by Tine Johansen at the Danish Union of Journalists.

Description of event in Danish

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Is the media failing the Sustainable Development Goals?

The media is society’s watchdog, but how far does their responsibility go in relation to furthering the Sustainable Development Goals? 

When: 17 June, 12:00-13:00
Where: Kampeløkke Havn E1 at The People’s Political Festival

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have set ambitious global targets to improve the world over the next 15 years. If the goals are to be met it will take hard work and collaboration across multiple sectors in every country – in Denmark as well as elsewhere, this includes the Danish media.

Is the media doing enough to inform the public of the goals – and as access to information for the public is now included in the goals as a pre-requisite for democratic development – should the media itself be playing an even greater role to spread the word – not just as a publisher of information, but also as an actor pushing the SDGs agenda?

UNDP and International Media Support invite you to debate on where the media belong in the battle for democracy, development and equality.


  • Ulrik Haagerup, Head of News, DR
  • Jesper Højberg, Executive Director at International Media Support
  • Thomas Ravn-Pedersen, Director of Verdens Nyheder (The World’s Best News).

Description of event in Danish

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