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Next Democracy

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Empirical effects of direct democracy

By Stefan Voigt / 28 October, 2019

Direct democracy is often discussed from a normative angle: supporters praise its deliberative and participatory qualities whereas critics doubt that the citizens are sufficiently well informed to make far-reaching decisions directly. This contribution analyses direct democracy from an empirical angle: it delves into the effects that direct democracy tools have...

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Initiative and referendum in a hostile context

By Raul Magni-Berton / 28 October, 2019

In France, participatory democracy is constantly developing. Today, over 50 cities have adopted a participatory budget, and a large number have also launched citizens’ assemblies. Direct Democracy, however, remains a taboo. Through the attempt made by the Grenoble City Council in 2016 to experiment with Direct Democracy, it is possible...

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Lisbon: a decade of Participatory Budget

By Miguel Silva Graça / 28 October, 2019

Amongst the many European cities that have made their experiences with Participatory Budgeting (PB), Lisbon was the first capital city, already in 2008. The experience has shown that PB clearly lead to a better performance of the municipality itself, by providing a better public service and pursuing fairer public policies,...

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Intensifying democracy

By Giovanni Allegretti / 21 October, 2019

Involving citizens in choosing policy priorities has proven able to increase their quality of life. When the discussion between institutions and citizens focuses on resources, spaces to discuss different scenarios for increasing wealth and rationalising the expenditures of the places where we live emerge. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic innovation...

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From open doors to a closed society

By Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz / 2 October, 2019

On June 4, 1989 – on the same day that students died in Tiananmen Square – parliamentary elections were held in Poland. For the first time, real opposition candidates were allowed to participate. The resulting opposition-led government opened the door to historical changes in the country and beyond. The 2004...

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Direct democracy to empower parliamentarism and public discourse

By Ralf-Uwe Beck / 30 July, 2019

Only with direct democracy as a complement to representative democracy the government power will really come from the people. Direct democracy strengthens representative democracy: it makes it more representative. Direct-democratic procedures encourage public discourse and thus also prevent populism. In an election we put our trust in democracy. This trust...

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Hungarian democracy – from best in class to failing grade?

By Péter Niedermüller / 30 July, 2019

In 1989, Hungarians saw democracy as an enormous hope for an open and free society. 30 years on, Hungary is an officially ‘illiberal state’ based on nationalism, corruption. The opposition is fragmented, the society is divided along political, economic and geographic lines. The progressive left doesn’t have answers. The symbolic...

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A European Union that belongs to all its citizens

By Pierre Bauby / 23 April, 2019

Bringing all forces of society together – individuals as well as groups – is the best way to deal with those who want to create a battleground between economic and financial interests or between ideologies of closure and exclusion. Who owns Europe ? The first question we must ask ourselves...

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Build an open access database on ‘who owns Europe’

By Judith Clifton / 22 April, 2019

Whether a government or private enterprise should directly own and control an activity is at the heart of politics – that’s why the question ‘who owns Europe’ is an incredibly important one. But a lack of consistent, long-term data on public and private ownership makes it virtually impossible for citizens...

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Give people ownership!

By Sean Kippin / 21 April, 2019

Recent elections and the rise of populism show that the centre-left is losing ground. A ‘politics of ownership’, which gives power to citizens by involving them in the economy and in the affairs of the state, may provide a means of answering this difficult set of challenges. European Social Democracy...

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