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Democracy

The EU and Belarus: doing less might be better

By André Gerrits / 30 September, 2020

It is easy to call for EU action in crises at the borders of the bloc. And in the case of Belarus, these calls have been made again. But the European Union must acknowledge that the Belarusian case cannot be considered without thinking of Russia, and that in some crises...

A too Teutonic talk

By László Andor / 17 September, 2020

As we learned from the great British historian Eric Hobsbawm, tradition is something that is invented. The tradition of State of the Union (SOTEU) speeches by the European Commission president was invented in 2010, in the wake of the great financial crisis. It has always provided a panorama of EU...

Making the UN more inclusive and democratic

By Jo Leinen / 8 September, 2020

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year (UN75). Secretary-General António Guterres has invited everybody to discuss and propose measures for “renewing and strengthening” the world organisation. Notably, a UN Parliamentary Assembly and a World Citizens’ Initiative could be measures that increase its democratic base. Many papers and...

Urban development in Allende’s Chile: going up!

By Genaro Cuadros Ibáñez / 3 September, 2020

At the time of Salvador Allende’s election victory on 4 September 1970, Chile was experiencing accelerated urbanisation that was deeply unequal. Confronting the housing deficit, and providing access to urban services and facilities would be one of the challenges of Allende’s Popular government. With creativity and involvement of the people,...

Salvador Allende: respect for the world

By Juan Somavía / 3 September, 2020

When Salvador Allende entered the General Assembly of the United Nations, a very exceptional thing happened: there was huge, spontaneous applause from the delegates, who rose to their feet. At the end of his speech, the president of Chile was again cheered at length with a persistent standing ovation. This...

Salvador Allende: his ethical, social and democratic legacy

By Marcela Ahumada / 31 August, 2020

On 4 September 1970, fifty years ago, the socialist doctor Salvador Allende won the elections and became President of the Republic of Chile. In the middle of the cold war, for the first time in Latin America, a socialist came to power through elections, democratically and in freedom. Salvador Allende...

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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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