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European Democracy


In recent years, there have been important societal transformations sweeping through Europe.  On the one hand, a new deliberative-collaborative e-democracy 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). On the other hand, we are confronted with increasing threats that undermine the foundations and institutions of our democratic societies, such as populism and online disinformation. There is an urgent need to develop a more precise understanding of how these new trends affect our societies and to encourage civic engagement to increase the resilience of our democracy.

ECAS activities in the framework of its European Democracy focus area aim at three objectives:

  • Digital Democracy – to explore the potential of ICT in reducing the gap between political representatives and citizens and contributing to the creation of an engaged citizenship through civic tech;
  • Understanding Populism – to develop a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of ‘populism’ and to better take citizens’ voices into account in our democratic political systems;
  • Civic Engagement – to make a difference in the life of European communities by encouraging civic actions and participatory democracy to address issues of public concern.

2019-2022 Timeframe

In the period 2019 – 2022 ECAS is working to:

  • Develop and implement EU projects and services related to European Democracy;
  • Advocate for better participatory democracy by exploiting digital technology, at local, national and EU level,
  • Improve existing participatory tools, such as the European Citizens Initiative and the EU’s online consultation processes;
  • Foster better understanding of populism in Europe through research and trainings;
  • Improve citizens’ knowledge on how to access quality information by tackling online disinformation;
  • Organise a Digital Democracy Day and an Online Disinformation conference in Brussels as annual events to raise awareness and report on new developments in both areas.


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