U.3.4 Democracy and Participation
The European integration process is an example of how to modulate a multilevel integration and how to look for a model that enhances the participation of the different areas that make up the European society. This model of political action anchored in European supranational democracy has also been stated in the Treaty of Lisbon of 2007. The Laeken Declaration on the future of the European Union, December 2001, already stated the need to listen to representatives of European civil society.
As the EC COM(2020) 27 final states, “The Commission is committed to taking the most effective actions, with the other EU institutions, to ensure that what citizens debate is translated into EU policy-making. Issue-specific deliberative panels, gathering citizens and experts should meet at regular intervals throughout the Conference”. Although there is still some room for improvement, Deliberative democracy is a reality in the day-to-day of the European institutions. Within European democracy, the so-called deliberative democracy has gradually increased its role, first as an innovative formula and, subsequently, as a concept and action
- Article 8 of the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law) COM/2020/80 final, “The Commission shall engage with all parts of society to enable and empower them to take action towards a climate-neutral and climate-resilient society. The Commission shall facilitate an inclusive and accessible process at all levels, including at national, regional and local level and with social partners, citizens and civil society, for the exchange of best practice and to identify actions to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of this Regulation. (…).”
- Agora of the European Parliament, involving more than 800 civil society organisations
- Initiatives driven by the European institutions jointly with organizations of the civil society: Laeken Declaration on the future of the European Union (2001),. Two European conventions took place
- 1st: elaboration of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
- 2nd: the project of the European Constitution
- In addition, two referendums in France and Netherlands rejected this constitution in May and June of 2005. Then, the European Commission launched in October 2005, the “Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate” that created a framework to debate the future of Europe.
- European Citizens’ Consultation: Making your voice heard: started in 2006 with the objective of gathering citizens from all the member states to create an authentic discussion regarding the future of Europe.