On 2 October, Europe’s World featured an article by ECAS’ Director Assya Kavrakova on democracy in the digital age and the potential role digital technologies can play in enhancing citizen participation and youth engagement at EU level.
In her contribution, she introduced a number of digital initiatives that have been employed at national level in EU Member States, and that have been analysed by ECAS, in order to assess how digital democracy could positively affect democratic processes and lead to democratic innovation.
In order to maximize the benefits and opportunities descending from the employment of digital tools, however, further actions need to be undertaken at EU level, such as the development of sound policies on privacy and media literacy, as well as the promotion of new media and both on-and off-line activities.
To reduce the gap between themselves and citizens and transform the relationship into a partnership, EU decision-makers should embrace democratic innovation. They can do this by developing digital democracy policies for citizen engagement as an integral part of the Digital Single Market. Moreover, they should use digital tools to interact with young people where they naturally are – in the digital space – instead of waiting for young people to engage in politics as currently practised.
Digital democracy has the potential to contribute to the rejuvenation of the European project and to the creation of an engaged citizenship. This can happen only if both decision-makers and citizens grasp the opportunities of the digital transformation.
Read the full article here
Find out more about ECAS’ work on digital democracy here