Do you feel your voice matters in Europe? Critics have long complained of a “democratic deficit” between citizens and the European Union, and certainly the EU can sometimes feel a bit disconnected from the ordinary lives of Europeans. Previous efforts at enhancing EU democracy (including the so-called Spitzenkandidaten process) have met with limited success.
How would you boost European democracy? Do we need more referendums like the Swiss system (including, perhaps, referendums on membership itself)? Is the EU’s institutional framework too complicated, and in need of simplification? Could “liquid democracy” or other innovations help decrease the democratic deficit?
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Ivan, who thinks previous efforts at enhancing democracy at the EU level have been failures. He points to the European Citizens Initiative, which has seen only four initiatives successfully submitted to the Commission in 8 years, none of which have been adopted into law. How will future efforts be different?
To get a response, we put Ivan’s comment to Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Democracy and Demography. She is the Commissioner responsible for the Conference on the Future of Europe, a consultation with citizens from across the EU about what sort of reforms and future direction they want the 27-member bloc to take.
How would she respond to Ivan’s criticism that past efforts to enhance European democracy have failed?
Does it help to boost democracy at the EU level if it is being eroded at the national level? We had a comment sent in by Terezia, who believes that Hungary and Poland, for example, are violating fundamental European democratic principles. What is the Commission going to do about democracy being eroded in Member States?
To get a response, we put Terezia’s remark to Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, whose role includes ensuring the rule of law is upheld across the EU. What would he say?
How can we make the EU more democratic? Will future efforts at enhancing democracy at the EU level be successful? What is the commission going to do about democracy being eroded in member states? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!