Has the time come for the EU to embrace new forms of democracy? The EU’s deliberative democracy experiment, embodied by the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), gave citizens from across the bloc a platform to set out proposals for how they want the EU to function and what they feel it should focus on. Could this be a unique opportunity to shed light on the fundamental importance of permanent and direct involvement of randomly selected citizens in the European policymaking process and for citizens to debate Europe’s challenges and priorities?

On 31 May 2022, Friends of Europe and Debating Europe held an online panel debate on the future of EU democracy, with European citizens as well as representatives from EU politics, academia, the private sector and civil society.

Taking part in the discussion were:

💬 Kalypso Aude Nicolaïdis, Professorial Chair of Global Affairs, European University Institute School of Transnational Governance

💬 Valentina Balzani, Citizen and Participant of CoFoE European Citizens’ Panel 2, “European democracy/Values and rights, rule of law, security”

💬 Alberto Alemanno, Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law at HEC Paris, Founder of The Good Lobby and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

💬 Tomáš Rákos, Co-Founder and CEO of Participation Factory

💬 Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul, Member of the Common Secretariat for the Conference on the Future of Europe

💬 Max Steuer, Citizen and Participant of CoFoE European Citizens’ Panel 2, “European democracy/Values and rights, rule of law, security”

What should European democracy look like? How can citizens and civil society push for a comprehensive follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe? What must be done to maintain the momentum calling for a new, inclusive and deliberative model of democratic participation, and can such model be permanently adopted? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr


4 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive

    Please let’s be clear & stick to EU Democracy! The rest are political dreams & more incredible nightmares!

    Sorry, I have no simple answer and will not assist in knowingly circumventing or diminishing my remaining national rights & privileges.

    It should be up to the 27 Council Members to submit their plan(s) to all voters! Understandably the majority of voters have to earn a living outside politics- not within.
    I am only one of the 400 Mio political relegated- who could up or downvote “political ingenuities” via so far in-accessible made Referendums.

    Where do political lobbying groups (e.g. EU sponsored FoE/DE), private institutions & political influencers receive their legal mandate to change our lives forever- hardly for the better? Why not ask the 27 Prime Ministers- one by one?

    EU Democracy is marketed as:

    “The EU is built upon the model of representative democracy, which means that all EU members enjoy political rights. Such political rights include voting in elections to the European Parliament, contesting as a candidate, and voting in their residence country or country of origin”.

    Great!
    Mentioning “European Parliamentary elections”- but not mentioned are national, provincial or municipal elections. Understandable, the EU wants to remain big on big and eventually abolish the too small.

    The number 27 means big- like the grip of the EU Council on the 27 Chancellors/Prime ministers or 27 foreign Ministers. Their meeting in Brussels takes a few hours to vote “big on big”.

    These professionals however might remain in or out of office for 4-5 years and are appointed by “the winner takes all” party The rest is “small on small. Too small to worry or talk about? Voters’ life is between 16/18 until death do us part!

    How many more “looks” (systems/changes) may/should the EU Council experimenters be limited & be tolerated by us?

    E.g.- should EU democracy look like-

    Gaeilge? “It is believed that Irish remained the majority tongue as late as 1800 but became a minority language during the 19th century. It is an important part of Irish nationalist identity, marking a cultural distance between Irish people and the English”

    https://cdt.europa.eu/en/news/irish-gains-full-status-official-language-eu#:~:text=On%201%20January%202022%2C%20the,language%20of%20the%20European%20Union.

    The EU lists 24 official working languages. But practices only three! In EU alphabetical order: English, French and German.

    https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_ireland/european_government/european_union/european_union.html#le3379

    At a glance the EU appears to be a tolerant & accommodating Suzerain (= “a past feudal overlord”) It/she also aims for: “Big on Big and small on small”! (What?)

    Further EU goals are listed as:

    • To promote peace and the well-being of EU citizens
    • To offer EU citizens freedom, security and justice, without internal borders, while also controlling external borders
    • To work towards the sustainable development of Europe, promoting equality and social justice
    • To establish an economic union, with the euro as its currency
    • To contribute to the sustainable development, peace and security of the Earth

    In parallel & in addition or revision- “Agenda 2019-2024”:

    “At its meeting in Brussels on 20 June 2019, the European Council agreed on an agenda for the EU for the next five years. ‘A new strategic agenda 2019-2024’ sets out the priority areas that will steer the work of the European Council and provide guidance for the work programmes of other EU institutions.
    The strategic agenda focuses on four main priorities:

     protecting citizens and freedoms
     developing a strong and vibrant economic base
     building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe
     promoting European interests and values on the global stage

    https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/eu-strategic-agenda-2019-2024/
    The EU universal adult suffrage is more than 400 million voters. The participation suffers from appallingly low interest (<50%).

    Quote: “The term "political party in the EU" can mean three different types of entities: domestic political parties, political groups in the European Parliament, and European political parties” (All are pro- EU!)

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/300427/eu-parlament-turnout-for-the-european-elections/

    Political experimentation? For how long? And suddenly Ukraine qualifies for EU & possible NATO membership? The 60% and 3% debt/GDP ratios are dumped, bankrupt and former corrupt regimes are welcomed- how controversial can it get?

    Please go back and reapply for a new mandate – vested on 27 sovereign national levels, convince & lobby its political parties to include a permanent agenda about the EU "big on big" – small on small (what?) FIRST!

    No shortcuts, please!

  2. avatar
    JT HK

    Irresponsible parliament member of EU with public speech risking EU security by advocating the use of nuclear weapon ought to be impeached, this is how democracy should be, to replace brutal killing of war with rational discussion getting consensus and compromise in a parliament in a civilized way and peaceful means.

  3. avatar
    JT HK

    This is how populist pro-America politicians are trying to help the “American become great again”. Poland chairman of state duma Radosław Sikorski and EU parliament member, is calling to provide Ukraine with nuclear weapon while Poland has already started to the annexation of Ukraine with troops entering Ukraine. These dangerous and irresponsible acts of Polish politician does not only drawing EU into military conflict with Russia, this politician is apparently also brain dead like NATO by drawing Europe into a nuclear war>>> http://duma.gov.ru/en/news/54592/

  4. avatar
    JT HK

    EU democracy is representing by politicians’ personal/party value oriented interests. When fake news is flooding Europe, citizens involvement would only turn to populism and irrational policy which is the cause of the current democratic decline in the West.

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