In 2019, ECAS transformed its Digital Democracy Focus Area into a new, expanded European Democracy Focus Area. To ensure a comprehensive approach to the topic, the new focus area includes the following three pillars:
- Digital Democracy;
- Understanding Populism;
- Online Disinformation.
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, across Europe we are confronted with increasing threats that undermine the foundations and institutions of our democratic societies. There is an urgent need to develop a more precise understanding of these new trends, mainly populism and online disinformation, and how they affect our societies.
For these reasons, ECAS is implementing a European Democracy Agenda with three objectives:
- Digital Democracy – to explore the potential of ICT in reducing the gap between political elites 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’ in order to take citizens’ voices more into account in our democratic political system;
- Online Disinformation – to understand how to counter online disinformation in order to ensure citizens’ access to quality and objective information as a central element for a healthy public debate.
ECAS also actively supports the implementation of the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy in the EU – the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) – supporting the European Commission in the development and the implementation of European Citizens’ Initiative Forum. The online collaborative platform offers support to citizens when organising an initiative.
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.
The first section of the Guide discusses the extent of the power that the ECI truly gives to citizens and offers a brief overview of the ECI process. The second section goes through the process step by step and includes…
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The first ever citizens initiatives for transnational deliberative democracy will start on 1 April 2012. Finally, some good news from the EU? In terms of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty and the regulation1 to bring it into effect, from…
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This briefing note follows the structure of the programme of the conference on 17 March 20011 on citizens' initiatives as follows: The first section, "How far does the right of citizens' initiative go?", examines the nature of the citizens' initiatives…
ECAS welcomes the signature dated 14 of February of the regulation on citizens' initiatives whereby over one million European citizens from a significant number of member states can demand a legislative initiative from the Commission. Download it now!
The European Citizen Action Service released a press-release to call the European Parliament to take a stand on ECIs. Download it now!
On 29 June, ECAS launched a survey on the personal data requirement in the Commission's draft regulation of the European Citizens' Initiative (COM(2010) 119 final), on which the Council gave its opinion on 14 June 2010. Download it now!