Strasbourg, 04.07.2013 – Is democracy in crisis? Judging by the sometimes record levels of voter abstention, public distrust of leaders – fed by increasing numbers of corruption scandals – and the rise in anti-system parties, the gap between institutions and the public is widening. Traditional modes of public participation are giving way to social media which make the public directly accessible to politicians and activists at all times. They foster interest-based communities, but struggle to provide a platform for a coherent democratic debate.
While the social media have fuelled citizen protest movements and democratic revolutions, can they really help to revive representative democracy and everyday governance? What future lies ahead for the traditional forms of participation? How can new and traditional forms of participation complement each other?
To address these issues, the Council of Europe has invited political leaders, experts, journalists and youth and civil society representatives from all over the world to the Second World Forum for Democracy, under the heading:
Re-wiring democracy: connecting institutions and citizens in the digital age
The 2013 Forum will highlight practical new measures to boost citizen participation in democratic life.
The Forum is organised in partnership with the City of Strasbourg, the French government and the Region of Alsace and will be held at the Council of Europe from 27 to 29 November. Events and debates for the general public will begin on 23 November.