Networked European Democracy

In 2017 we launched an 18-month project to explore the different ways that people at the local level can influence conversations and policy making at the European level. We worked on the hypothesis that a networked approach is needed if European action is to be linked into citizens’ opinions and experiences.

The Democratic Society has designed processes for people in participating localities to have a conversation about an issue that matters to them; whilst also working with people inside European institutions to explore how to connect those conversations into their policy work. We tried different formats for having conversations on European policy issues, thinking about how contributions from different localities can be handled by decision makers, testing how we share the views of people in one place with people in another, and considering how information about decisions is fed back to people at the local level. A summary report will be published in early 2019.

This project is linked to our work to develop networks for open government and participation across Europe.

Working in towns and rural places in Italy (June – December 2018)

Starting in Italy, with ambition to expand to other countries in future cycles, we looked for towns and rural places to host participative events about the future of work and skills. We hosted events in Courmayeur, Martina Franca and Settimo Torinese between June and December 2018.

These three municipalities have different social and cultural backgrounds, spread from the very south of the peninsula to the French boundary.

The Democratic Society designed and coordinated the events, working with local partners to support delivery.

Throughout the project, we referred to some key research questions and compiled key learning to support the development of participatory and deliberative initiatives connected to European policy making.

Interested in finding out more or future collaboration?

General contact: Kelly McBride, Head of European Networks –

If you’re from a town or rural area in Italy and you’d like to be part of the project or discuss other opportunities please email our Pisa based Italian Network Lead, Francesca Attolino –

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