Secretary General concludes World Forum for Democracy

In his closing remarks to the Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland  highlighted the need to promote online literacy and raise awareness of the risks to privacy and data protection. Political parties and institutions had a huge potential to increase accountability and transparency on the internet. Referring to the speech by the award-winning writer and intellectual Amin Maalouf, he emphasised that democracies need to protect the rights of minorities. "There...

Democracy Innovation Award goes to "Women of Uganda Network"

29 NOV Strasbourg
Today at the closing of the World Forum for Democracy, the Council of Europe gave its Democracy Innovation award to the "Women of Uganda Network" (WOUGNET). This prize recognizes efforts taken to involve citizens more in public life and in the democratic process. Chosen by the participants who voted on some 30 initiatives, this project aims at raising awareness about the need for good governance and public services among the grassroots and local communities in five districts of northern...

New technologies certainly hold out hope for democracy, according to Académie française member Amin Maalouf

In his address to the opening ceremony of the World Forum for Democracy, Franco-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf emphasised the importance of devising new mechanisms enabling citizens, who are now surfers as well, to have real influence on their leaders' thoughts and on political decision-making. One-track thinking, especially in the economic sphere, is one of the reasons why democracy is to some extent in decline, as is evident from disaffection within the electorate. An opportunity was missed...

Mikhaïl Fedotov: Electronic democracy and traditional democracy are not antagonistic

In the first debate on citizen participation in the digital age, Mikhail Fedotov said that we should stop treating the Internet as just a tool. Thanks to communication technologies and the Internet, we see a society ever more inclined to direct-action democracy. Each ‘sovereign citizen' can become a commentator, a political activist or a TV channel from his own living room via the Internet. Electronic democracy and traditional democracy are not antagonistic. They are a continuum.

Irina Yasina: Social media is our hope for the future

Russian journalist and civil society activist Irina Yasina, in her address at the official opening of the second World Democracy Forum, left no doubt as to her perception of the important democratic role played by social media and digital technology in her country.  It was social media that encouraged people to take part in the major demonstrations of recent years, as they saw that others were ready to get involved. "I sometimes feel like I am living in two different Russias", she said. One...

Abdou Diouf: Rescue democracy!

"Democracy must not remain on the fringe of the revolution in information and communication technologies", Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of La Francophonie, declared at the opening of the Forum. "We therefore have an immense job of work ahead of us, for the Internet will be what we make it. Democracy can be strengthened by the Internet, just as it can be weakened", he added. Mr Diouf stressed that these technologies could contribute to preserving the very essence of  democracy, described by...

Hélène Conway-Mouret : Like peace, democracy needs to be nurtured day by day

"Europeans' history is hallmarked by an effort to achieve democracy, which has now become a universal aspiration. It is hard and often painful work, and it always takes a long time." The words are those of Hélène Conway-Mouret, Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, attached to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaking at the opening of the Forum. The Minister pointed inter alia to the difficult socioeconomic context, one conducive to increasing inequality, a resurgence of...

Democracy Innovation Fair

28 Nov 14.30 - 15.30 and 29 Nov 11.30 - 12.30 Palais de l'Europe
The Democracy Innovation Fair at the Forum will give participants and presenters the unique opportunity to exchange in an informal setting and to gain further information about the initiatives presented in the labs. The participants of the Forum will have the chance to network, to discuss the initiatives with each other as well as with the presenters, and to explore information material and internet presences of the organisations. Not only organizations that will present their initiatives in...

Official opening of the World Forum for Democracy

The World Forum for Democracy will officially open tomorrow, 27th November, at 4pm. You can follow the debates in the hemicycle live as from the start. All debates of the three Forum days will also be available by deferred transmission. A Twitterwall will be projected during the debates, so do not hesitate to participate by tweeting your comments to @WFDemocracy using #CoE_WFD.

Conference on ''Residence-based participation: a new reality of modern democracy''

In the Framework of World Forum for Democracy, the Congress and the City of Strasbourg ( France) are co-organizing on 27 November 2013, a conference entitled" Residence-based participation: a new reality of modern democracy". This conference aims to examine the new perspectives of citizen participation at a local level, in the current climate of increasing diversity of European societies. It will be divided in two workshops, one about "citizenship and the right to vote determined by...

“L’Ososphère” at the World Forum for Democracy

As a multidisciplinary cultural event around digital cultures and renewal of the shape of the city, l'Ososphère is contributing to the discussions initiated at the World Forum for Democracy 2013 by proposing a series of artists. In the Program: WJ-S / Anne Roquigny, Hemicycle, 27/11 from 16.00 to 16.05,  Democratic (s) hopes  by Groupedunes from 28 to 29/11, 1st floor, Palais de l'Europe and Democracy is an illusion? by AV Exciters on 29/11 from 17:45 to 18h, in the Hemicycle.

Vote for the initiatives presented during the labs!

During the Forum, the "Democracy innovation award of the Internet users" will be awarded by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the basis of votes cast on the internet. Online voting for the initiatives is already open on the website by clicking on the different labs. The deadline for votes is 29 November at 12 a.m. Another price, the "Democracy innovation award", will be awarded during the forum on the basis of a vote of the Forum participants.

Exploiting the web as a tool of democracy: a new study

Prepared to inspire discussion at the 2nd annual World Forum for Democracy, the study proposes specific and practical web-based solutions that governments, civil society and researchers can use to ‘re-engage' the public in political participation. The study indicates declines in election turnout in 40 out of 49 democracies worldwide from 2007-2013, in party membership, trade union memberships and other forms of democratic expression. It acknowledges recent "overblown expectations" of the...

Inauguration of the E.toile installation

26/11/2013
For the upcoming World Forum for Democracy, the local Strasbourg artist Laurent Reynès will create a work of art, named ‘Construction abstraite – E.toile', on the façade of the Palais of the Council of Europe. The piece will consist of a thin canvas of rope forming a tense mesh, a seducing lace which will cover the exterior frame of the Palais from the 16th of November to the 16th of December. The symbolism of the piece will follow the lines of the theme debated at the World Forum for...

Participation of high-level personalities

Numerous high-level personalities have confirmed their participation in the World Forum for Democracy 2013. Speakers at the Opening Session are Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of La Francophonie, Amin Maalouf, Writer and Member of the Académie française and Irina Yasina, Journalist and Civil Society Activist. Among others, Mikhail Fedotov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Lois Beckett, reporter for ProPublica, will take part in the Round Table discussion on 27 November....