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Erwin Mayer (left) campaigning for direct democracy
Making off: Direct Democracy in Austria
On 11 March 2015 civil society activists met with politicians and government representatives in the Austrian parliament to discuss how to improve direct democracy in Austria. The debate was the fourth session of the inquiry commission (“Enquete Kommission”), established with the...
Rat in Research for Animal testing, Image by Understanding Animal Research, public domain
The ECI - a democratic farce?
The European Citizens' Initiative is the world's first transnational tool of participative democracy. But the system needs reform if it is to avoid becoming a farce, argues our European Programme Manager Sophie von Hatzfeldt.
The poster of the public hearing. Source: European Parliament
ECI hearing: minor successes and major hurdles
EU decision-makers and stakeholders met for a hearing on 26 February 2015 in the European Parliament to discuss the vital need for reform of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The ECI was implemented in 2012 and has since then experienced minor successes and major hurdles...
March in Tunis on 14 January 2015 to commemorate Jasmine Revolution
Winning by losing, Tunisia Style
Four years after the Jasmin revolution Tunisia has a new modern constitution, a freely elected parliament and a president – and since a few days  also a new coalition-government. The next step for the “Arab world’s first modern democracy” is to decentralize the state – by active...
I love Bratislava
Referendum in Slovakia victim of turnout quorum
To be valid, 50 per cent of Slovakia’s eligible citizens had to participate in the referendum. Yet only 21.41 per cent of eligible voters (= 944,674 citizens) went to the polling stations On Saturday, 7 February 2015, Slovakia held a referendum on the constitutional definition...
Protests against TTIP in Berlin, Image: Mehr Demokratie e.V.
Wolf in sheep’s clothing - TTIP’s challenge to democracy
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the EU and the US is proclaimed to offer promising prospects for economic growth and employment in Europe, a dire need in a continent challenged by a prolonged economic crisis. Removing...
The Website of the Direct Democracy Navigator
New Navi for direct democracy
The Direct Democracy Navigator is a new research tool that currently features no less than 1227 different instruments in more than 100 countries worldwide. Its revised website, launched this week, is a product of research carried out by Dr. Klaus Hofmann of Democracy...
People commemorating Jasmine Revolution in Tunis on 14 January 2015
‘Democratic decentralisation’ theme of Global Forum
Preparations of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy to take place from 14 – 17 May 2015 in Tunis are moving ahead. Democracy International met with key players of Tunisian civil society and academia in Tunisia’s capital last week Preparations of the Global Forum on...
2015 could bring new same-sex legislation, Photo by Quinn Dombrowski, Wikimedia Commons
2015: What kind of Europe? What kind of democracy?
Last year more people were able to participate in elections and referendums across the globe than ever before. But this year a series of popular votes will offer answers to key questions about the future of Europe and its severely challenged democracies. A preview.
The panel of the ECI Conference in Brussels on 10 December 2014
The ECI - dead without reforms?
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a phenomenal tool of transnational direct democracy, allowing citizens to directly influence agenda-setting in the EU. It is the voice of civil society in Europe, and has been used to launch political debate on a great diversity of...


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