Workshop on participatory democracy

Coppieters and Nexe debate on innovation and democracy in Valencia

News / 30.5.18

On the 11th and 12th of May, 2018, Coppieters Foundation and Fundacio Nexe organised a workshop on participatory democracy in Valencia. Several panels with international academics, members of assemblies across Europe, and civil society associations discussed new innovative ways to engage citizens in politics and decision-making.

Professor Nicola McEwen, from Edinburgh University, delivered the keynote speech in which she championed the idea of constitutional referenda as a crucial component of increasing political engagement, especially in cases that foresee constitutional reforms, such as Brexit or Scottish independence.

Emilie van Haute, from the Vrij Universiteit van Brussel, analyzed Belgian federalism and the evolution of constitutional arrangements over the past decades. She believes the defining element of the Belgian case lies with consociationalism; a system of power-sharing among regional and linguistic communities. On the other hand, André Fazi, professor at the University of Corsica, showed how Corsican parties advocating for decentralisation and devolution have face challenges in implementing their electoral programs due to lack of interest in constitutional reforms on the part of the central government. Professor Oscar Mazzoleni, from Lausanne University, suggested citizen initiatives can transform societies. In multi-national countries like Switzerland referenda are already a critical pillar of constitutional arrangements.

Workshops included lively side-events and panels discussing concrete actions to help civil society and sub-central and regional governments gain more access to decision-making at the state, European and international level.

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This workshop is a joint initiative of Fundacio Nexe and Coppieters Foundation.

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This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.

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