Digital democracy & democratic deficit in the EU

The Democratic Society are working on a project to find out how people would like to communicate ideas directly to the institutions of the European Union. It’s about citizens feeding in to policy-making and having a say more than just once every five years in the European elections.

The UK’s role in this is significant as Brexit highlighted a common perception that there is a lack of democracy, that people in Britain have ‘lost control’ over EU policy making.

we will be hosting an online discussion forum and an offline event

Demsoc are researching what opportunities really exist for people to engage directly in public decision-making using digital tools. We will be searching for good practice examples, and fresh ideas for how digital tools could give people new channels to take part in EU decision-making.

To do this we will be hosting an online discussion forum and an offline event for members of the public and for professionals in the field to consider the state of play of digital democratic participation in Britain today and to come up with ideas for the future.

Insights from the UK will be added to those from seven of the other countires

We aim to build some insight into the existing digital democracy tools in the UK and map out the gaps in opportunities to participate in democratic processes. We’re going to consider things like the inequalities that digital forms of participation can exacerbate and perpetuate. We’ll look for examples of where something works well and whether this could be scaled up if, and if so, what is preventing that.

Insights from the UK will be added to those from seven of the other 28 European Union countries. As well as Demsoc in the UK, participating countries are Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia, Slovenia and the Netherlands.

The project will help inform the European Union

The project will help inform the European Union about means and methods for people to engage directly with governments and EU institutions, to make them more a part of the decision-making processes on an ongoing basis.

This project is funded by the European Commission and is managed by our partners in Slovenia.

Read more at European Citizens Crowdsourcing


Co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union


Published by Millicent Scott

Millicent is The Democratic Society's Director of Operations. She has spent over a decade working on increasing citizens’ engagement with policy making and bringing people into democratic processes. Before joining DemSoc in 2015 she had worked for the Scottish Government, Scottish Civic Forum, European Parliament, the Association for Citizenship Teaching (England) and the Financial Times. In 2015 she also stood for the UK Parliament herself. “I want to change the way politics is done. I want to enable and inspire more people to engage in decision-making and I want to see a parliament that’s more representative of the people. I believe in working together for a fairer society.”

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