28 November from 10.30 to 12.30 - Room 5 - Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation: FR/EN/ES/DE


Used increasingly by new types of political parties, can liquid democracy be applied more broadly in the process of governance and what would be the implications for constitutional "checks and balances"?

Pirate Party, Germany

Bringing new forms of participation to the political scene is the aim of liquid democracy. The German pirate party experiments with different materialisations of the abstract concept of liquid democracy to explore the possibilities of Internet-based political discussion and decision processes. This is not only inside the organisation itself but also for including and servicing civil society or regional institutions. A key aspect is the integration of formerly divided concepts of representational and direct democratic participation and features of social internetworking of the participants.

Website: https://www.piratenpartei.de/


Ms Aleida ALAVEZ RUIZ, Mexico, Vice-president of the Mexican Congress

Aleida Alavez Ruiz is Mexican Federal Congresswoman, Vice chair of the Mexican Federal House of Deputies, member of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) since 2012 and parliamentarian appointed to the Council of Europe. She has been member of the Mexican Parliament and member of Mexico City Parliament. Her interests focus mainly on human rights, interculturality, domestic economy, and she is a defender of publicly owned oil companies. She has been member of Mexico City and national counselor of her political party as well as Communications Secretary.


Mr Jens SEIPENBUSCH, Germany, Pirate Party

Jens Seipenbusch is a founder of the German Pirate Party (Piratenpartei  Deutschland). He has been chairman or vice chairman from the founding  2006 until 2011. He has worked in the Faculty of Law at the WWU Münster since 1999 and has also been Deputy Head of the IT Department. From 1994 until 1998 Jens Seipenbusch was a research assistant at the WWU Münster. Jens Seipenbusch studied Physics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 1987 until 1989,  before studying at the WWU Münster until 1994, where he also obtained his degree.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Mr Antonio COSTA, Mayor of Lisbon, Portugal

António Luís Santos da Costa is Mayor of the Lisbon City Council since August 2007 and was re-elected for the third term in September 2013. Antonio Costa became Member of Parliament in 1991 and held afterwards the position of City Councilor of the Municipality of Loures. He was Member of the National Secretariat of the  Socialist Party for six years and held the position of Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, and Minister of Justice. From June 2004 to March 2005, he was leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party delegation to the European Parliament. From March 2005 until May 2007 he served as Minister of State and Internal Affairs.

Mr Yannick HARREL, France, ISEG

Yannick Harrel is an expert in Economic Sociology and Information Technology Law and works currently as a consultant and lecturer in the field of financial and economic cyberstrategy. He is interested in the question of how different powers react to the digital age in France and Europe. He participates actively in the online newspaper Agoravox and bloggs regularly. He is an active member of Alliance GéoStratégique, a group of professional and amateur, civilian and military, bloggers analysts. He received the National Award Admiral Marcel Duval in 2011 by the French Committee for the Study of National Defense and the Fondation de France.


Mr Ögmundur JÓNASSON, Iceland, Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee Iceland

Mr Ögmundur Jónasson is a Member of the Icelandic Parliament since 1995. He is the Chairman of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee of the Parliament and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2013. He served as the Minister of the Interior from 2010 until 2013 and as the Minister of Health in 2009. Jónasson chaired the parliamentary group of the Left Green Movement from 1999 until 2009. Prior to entering politics, he was a news reporter and later the chair of the Federation of State and Municipal Employees in Iceland, serving on the executive boards of different international labour organisations. He holds a M.A. honours degree in History and Politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.


Dr. Nikolaos MAVRIDIS, Greece, Political Council member of the Dimiurgia Ksana party and Asst. Professor of Research at NYU-Poly and Researcher at NCSR Demokritos

Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis, PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is currently serving as a Political Council member (the top-level instrument) of the Dimiurgia Ksana party in Greece, as well as Asst. Professor of Research at NYU-Poly and Researcher at NCSR Demokritos. His academic background is in Intelligent Systems, Human-Robot Interaction, and Collective Intelligence, and he has designed, facilitated, and evaluated the hybrid electronic/physical e-participation workshops for the congress of the Dimiurgia Ksana party. His dream is revitalizing European Democracy through innovative and effective usage of modern decision making, collaboration, and participation technologies.

Rapporteur to the Plenary session

Mr Andreas GROSS, National Councilor, Switzerland, President of the Council for Democratic Elections and Chair of the Socialist Group to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Andreas Gross is a Political Scientist and since more than 20 years lecturer at many European Universities on "Direct Democracy in a global comparison". He is a Swiss MP since 1991 and leader of the Socialdemocrats in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Gross authored four PACE- reports of the state and crises of democracy in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 and is a specialist of the intemporal progress and regress of  European democracies. Andreas Gross was responsible for some key Swiss popular initiatives (Switzerland without an Army, UN-membership) and is working on a theory of Direct Democracy.


Mr Michael REMMERT, Deputy to the Director of Policy Planning at the Council of Europe



Your opinion

Does/Do the following initiative(s) increase significantly citizens' influence in the policy-making process and/or make democratic institutions more transparent, responsive and accountable? 

the Pirate Party:
% Votes
84% 503
a. Yes
16% 95
b. No

Total Votes: 598

Voting is disabled because this poll expired on 29/11/13 12:00.