A new Deliberative-Collaborative eDemocracy model is emerging worldwide. This model can contribute to a more open and inclusive form of policy-making by involving citizens through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
ECAS is implementing a Digital Democracy Agenda, aiming to explore the democratic potential of ICT in:
- Reducing the gap between political elites and citizens;
- Transforming the relationship between EU citizens and EU decision-makers into more of a partnership, thus contributing to the creation of an engaged citizenship;
- Enabling the EU to go beyond consultations and structured dialogues with the usual stakeholders, to expand the number of contributors to EU policy-making, remove potential barriers to participation that translate into a general feeling of exclusion and engage groups that are underrepresented.
ECAS actively supports the implementation of the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy in the EU – the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) – through the European Citizens’ Initiative Forum, which provides legal advice and information to organisers before, during and after the process of launching and implementing an initiative. The Forum allows citizens to learn more about the ECI through best practices and enables them to discuss EU policies and ECI proposals, to find partners in other countries, to ask for legal, campaigning and fundraising advice from experts, and to exchange experiences.
ECAS also co-organises the annual ECI Day event in Brussels.