The Reshaping European Democracy initiative aims to analyze, debate, and help improve the state of European democracy. It takes a composite look at innovations and trends across Europe’s civil society, citizen participation, digital technology, political parties, and institutional reforms, and assesses how they are shaping the future of democracy in Europe.
The coronavirus pandemic is prompting contrasting trends in European democracy. While the crisis is aggravating many stresses that afflict democracy in Europe, it is also propelling democratic efforts in a number of areas.
While the principal concern about democracy during the coronavirus pandemic has been that European governments will be tempted to hold on to their new executive powers, pressure to restore democracy may now be propelling a predatory and polarized politics.
By trying to manage the financial fallout of the coronavirus without also providing democratic reform, the EU will unleash another cycle of the legitimacy problems it has suffered since the eurozone crisis.
Civil society organizations throughout Europe are not taking authoritarian encroachment sitting down. Instead, they are finding creative ways to fight back.
A striking feature of democracy in the European Union is the sheer variation in political trends. To rebuild democratic citizenship, the EU must address three common, broad concerns across Europe.
The EU could benefit from tapping into the smart ideas behind its many successful local projects, and then adapting them to benefit other member states.
Countries worldwide are experimenting with permanent citizen engagement in public decisionmaking. Could "ordinary citizens" become a new cornerstone of democracy?
The European Commission’s new president should act decisively to make deliberations in Brussels more accountable to voters and national parliaments.
Getting national legislators more involved in EU affairs could help the European Parliament boost its legitimacy in the eyes of voters.
Ideas and analysis are valuable, but Carnegie’s business is improving policies, decisionmaking, and real-world outcomes. Excellence in scholarship and responsiveness to changing global circumstances define our work, and we are committed to making a concrete difference in the world.
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