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 EU has chastised member states who do not adhere to its professed values. However, a new report about the rule of law falls short in providing the objective basis to withhold funding to those who defy democracy. EU funds should be allocated on direct criteria related to poor governance. Otherwise, recovery funds can be siphoned by the political clienteles of government parties.
The EU is poised to release new policies to bolster democracy in a digital age. How well these policies fare will depend on how well Europe tackles domestic challenges to democracy.
Countries with populist governments have been especially badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But beware: the virus is unlikely to kill off populism. To rid the world of populism, its root causes must be addressed.
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.
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