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South Tyrol: Democracy activists reach high mountain tops

South Tyrol: Democracy activists reach high mountain tops


Each year the Stelvio Pass in South Tyrol is blocked for motor traffic. Instead, the highest mountain pass in the Eastern Alps paves way to cyclists only. This year, on 31 August 2013, five activists of the “Initiative for More Democracy” climbed 2 760 metres of altitude by bike, carrying the banner “cycling for more democracy”. Their goal was to make aware participants and passers-by of the ongoing signature collection in South Tyrol.

The signature collection aims at proposing a law proposal for a better citizens’ initiative and referendum that actually helps to improve direct democracy and citizens’ participation in South Tyrol. Legislation for citizens’ participation already exists in Italy’s most northern province, but it was forced upon the population by the ruling politicians. Also, it stipulates too high hurdles for citizens’ participation and it is too complicated in order to be applied by the citizens. 

In this view the "Initiative für mehr Demokratie" (Initiative for more democracy) in South Tyrol gathers signatures for fairer and simpler democracy legislation until 13 September 2013. According to the organisers, citizens themselves are to decide on the rules of direct democracy. “The initiative for more democracy” is a registered association, supported by members, activists and financial donations. The initiatives’ long-term goal is to adopt best practice of direct democracy that has proven successful in Switzerland, which borders South Tyrol. The activists are aware of that the Swiss system cannot be copied one to one to Italy.

Further information on the "Initiative for more democracy” in South Tyrol at

Contact: Stephan Platzgummer and Rudi Maurer at

Text by Cora Pfafferott

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