As the European Union undergoes a major, self-proclaimed democratic exercise – the Conference on the Future of Europe – and approaches Treaty change, this volume offers a new model of citizen participation to address Europe’s long-standing democracy challenge, and respond to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposed are a set of democratic innovations, ranging from citizens’ assemblies to regulatory gaming to citizens’ initiatives and lobbying, which are complementary, not antagonistic, to existing representative democracy across the European continent. These innovations are emerging bottom-up across the continent and getting traction at local, national and EU level in a new era powered by technology.
This book brings together academics as well as practitioners to give a forward-looking, holistic view of the realities of EU citizen participation across the spectrum of participatory opportunities. They all converge in arguing that, after many years of proven experimentation, the EU must institutionalize supranational, participative and deliberative, democratic channels to complement representative democracy and each other, and ultimately improve the effectiveness of EU citizen participation. While this institutional approach will not magically treat the EU democratic malaise, it should make the system more intelligible, accessible, and ultimately responsive to citizen demand—without necessarily undertaking Treaty reform.
The attempt to harness citizen participation to help address the current EU crisis needs the type of multi-faceted approach presented in this book. One that recognises the potential of existing and new democratic mechanisms, and also, importantly, the links between different instruments of citizen participation to improve the overall quality of EU’s democratic system.
Alberto Alemanno is Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and Policy at HEC Paris.
James Organ is Lecturer at the University of Liverpool.
1. The Case for Citizen Participation in the European Union: A Theoretical Perspective on EU Participatory Democracy, Alberto Alemanno and James Organ
2. Citizen Participation and the Future of Europe: A View from Academia, Alberto Alemanno
3. Citizen Participation and the Future of Europe: A View from Civil Society, Anthony Zacharzewski
PART I: PARTICIPATORY AND DIGITAL DEMOCRACY
4. Direct Citizen Participation in the EU Democratic System, James Organ
5. WeMove Europe: Connecting Online and Offline Citizen Participation through the Stop Glyphosate ECI and Mini Publics, Laura Sullivan, Paola Pierri and Xavier Dutoit
6. Crowdsourcing EU Legislation: Harnessing the Power of Digital Democracy, Elisa Lironi
7. Regulatory Gaming: A Look into the European Union’s Attempts to Engage Citizens with Playful Design, Gianluca Sgueo
PART II: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION AND DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY
8. Bringing the Citizen Back into EU Democracy: What Can Deliberative Democracy Offer? Firat Cengiz
9. Reinforcing Citizens’ Participation by Reforming European Commission Public Consultations, Raphael Kies
10. The European Citizens’ Assembly, Graham Smith
PART III: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND CIVIL SOCIETY
11. Social Movements and the Dilemma of EU Citizen Participation and Influence, Louisa Parks
12 The National Filter of Europe-Wide Citizen Mobilization: The Stop TTIP Boomerang and the ‘Empowering Dissensus’ for European Integration, Luis Bouza Garcia and Alvaro Oleart
13. Let Us Gain Control over the Future of Europe! The Case for Citizen-Driven EU Treaty Change, Maarten de Groot
14. How Can Citizens Have More Influence over EU Law and Policy-Making? A View from European Civil Society, Daniela Vancic and Sophie von Hatzfeldt
Conclusion: Next Steps for EU Democracy, James Organ and Alberto Alemanno