EUth For Democracy

The idea

“EUth for Democracy” is a project by BEA, which aims at improving democracy in the EU. It was also envisioned as a contribution to the participatory processes set in motion by the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).

The CoFoE was announced by newly-elected President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen in 2019 and should be concluded by Spring 2022. Its goal is looking at the needs for reform of the Union, involving citizens, civil society as well as institutions.

The Covid crisis and the revolution that we are going through have made the Conference on the Future of Europe even more to reflect upon our shared future, starting from European citizens. As an exercise of transnational democracy, ID-BEA is perfectly equipped to act as an incubator for ideas young Europeans want to bring to the Conference.

The Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a unique and timely opportunity for European citizens to debate on Europe’s challenges and priorities. No matter where you are from or what you do, this is the place to think about what future you want for the European Union. By spring 2022, the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe.

The winners

France

Germany

Netherlands

Sweden

Speakers EUth4Dem

GRNCVbis

Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul

Deputy Head Citizens
Dialogues Unit EU
Commission

Dominik Hierlemann

Senior Expert
Bertelsmann Stiftung

Prenom NOM - 9th Parliamentary term

Gaby Bischoff

Member of the European Parliament

Jacopo Barigazzi

Journalist, Politico Europe

The inaugural session was  the first opportunity to meet and
exchange with the other members of EUth for Democracy. We
did that focussing on the two main topics of the project -Democracy
and the Conference on the Future of Europe- while using the
innovative methods of online citizens’ participation developed by
the experts of Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Introduction
Warm up in plenary
Breakout group discussions on Democracy
Exchange with the speakers’ panel in plenary
Breakout group discussions on the Conference on the Future of Europe
Exchange with the speakers’ panel in plenary
Conclusions

Representativeness, competence, effectiveness are among the
essential components of well-functioning democracies. How
do they contribute to make democracies more legitimate?

Speakers:

Alessandro Fusacchia, Italian MP

Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

Paul Depla, Mayor of Breda

Useful Resources:

K. Nicolaidis (2020) Reimagined Democracy in Times of Pandemic,
in Maduro, Miguel; Kahn, Paul (Ed.): Harvard University Press,
A. Brzozowski, (2020) Boosting EU’s democratic legitimacy:
Parliament seeks electoral reform, Euractiv
S. Blockmans, S. Russack (Ed. by) (2019), Representative Democracy
in the EU, CEPS

In the complex process of consensus creation, what is the weight of
different actors in shaping consensus? What role for intermediate
bodies, businesses, NGOs, and media?

Speakers:

Gaby Bischoff, German MEP

Jacopo Barigazzi, Journalist (Politico Europe)

Resources:

A. Satariano and M. Stevis-Gridneff (2020), Big Tech Turns Its
Lobbyists Loose on Europe, Alarming Regulators; The NewYork
Times,
Jonas J. Schoenefeld, (2020) Interest Groups, NGOs or Civil Society
Organisations? The Framing of Non-State Actors in the EU,
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit
Organizations

 

This plenary session marks the halfway through the Envision Track. It was an opportunity for participants to share and obtain feedback on their respective works so far. More precisely, they presented the problem(s) they decided to focus on (as a Country Team).
Bilateral calls with other Teams prior to the Plenary were organized.

Which are the democratic threats from new technologies? How can
we use these technologies to improve democracy? How is
disintermediation impacting the relationship between elected
officials and their voters?

Speakers:

Eva Kaili, Greek MEP

Valerio Riavez, Co-Founder of Electica

Resources:

Lewandowsky et al. (2020), Technology and Democracy:
Understanding the influence of online technologies on political
behaviour and decision-making, European Commission
Council of Europe (2019), Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence and
the Future of Democracy

How do we make sure that our democratic model will adapt to a changing world? What are the global trends and in which direction are we going?

Speaker:

Claudia Chwalisz, Leader of the OECD’s work on innovative citizen participation

Resources:

OECD (2020), Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave, OECD Publishing 

Claudia Chwalisz (2021), The pandemic has pushed citizen panels online, Nature