EUROPEAN PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY: BUILDING ON WHAT EXISTS WHILE PUSHING FOR REFORMS
EU Democracy Rally — Multiplier Event
Wednesday 7th June (a day before ECI Day at the Economic and Social Committee)
Brussels at the Maison des Associations Internationales (Rue Washington 40, 1050 Ixelles) & online
A multiplier event for European citizens to take action and promote a European participatory democracy
50 participants – Partners of EUDR, European civil society activists, young people and EU experts
Registration for this event is now closed.
This event is part of the European Democracy Rally — a cutting-edge project bringing together organisations specialised in supporting citizens’ movements and different ways of connecting them across borders and with the EU. It has produced useful guides to action such as IMPACT — essentially building on what exists: Initiatives (the one million signatures), Making complaints to the Commission, Petitions to the European Parliament, Access to documents, and Consultations, whilst ‘T‘ stands for tying them together in a one-stop shop. The event should give you an idea of how to use these different ways of making your voice heard and an opportunity to discuss their pros and cons. The findings from this event will be fed into ECI Day at EESC which takes place on 8 June. The event should be useful particularly for students and young activists getting involved with EU issues.
Whilst more use could be made of what exists, few believe it’s enough to bring the EU closer to citizens. This is why the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) asked for much more — a European participatory democracy. The chances for that hang in the balance. On the one hand, the idea of a one-stop shop and making permanent the online platform used to collect input to the CoFoE may well materialise given the push towards digital democracy. On the other hand, there is a widespread view that CoFoE is now over and that in any case a majority of its proposals find an echo somewhere in the programmes of the Commission and Council. This conclusion results from a technical assessment of the letter rather than the spirit of what citizens in the CoFoE were looking for. Making European citizens’ assemblies chosen by sortition is on the agenda of reformers. It is unlikely however until after the next elections to the European Parliament to become a more permanent feature of EU policy making. In the meantime, face-to-face assemblies are happening but more as a result of specific initiatives by different Commission departments or research consortiums than of any systemic policy decision.
5 June 2023