More emphasis on citizen participation at grassroots level through Congress monitoring and exchange of good practice


A report on direct involvement of citizens in decision-making processes at grassroots level in Council of Europe member states was adopted on 18 October 2011, at the 21st Congress. The report, presented by Marjan Haak-Griffionen, Netherlands, assesses direct democracy procedures at local and regional level and current trends in citizen participation.

Participatory democracy – which is complementary to representative democracy and the influence on decision-making through universal suffrage – is to be seen as an essential element of the good democratic functioning of society and has to be further developed, according to the report.

In addition to existing procedures of direct democracy, such as local referendums or popular initiatives, the report advocates to encourage local and regional authorities to also make use of new information and communication technologies, to set up citizen networks and to promote the implementation of pro-active mechanisms such as online publication of raw government information and participatory budgeting. "The Congress believes that, in times of increasing cuts to local and regional authority allocations and disenchantment of citizens with the political process, it is more important than ever that citizens actively participate at the level closest to them", says Marjan Haak. (more ...)

INTERVIEWS YouTube
Piero FASSINO,
Mayor of Turin, Italy
Marjan HAAK-GRIFFIOEN, Netherlands (EPP/CD),
Congress rapporteur



VIDEOS OF THE DEBATE

This video record is also available at professional format upon request at audivisual@coe.int

Piero Fassino, Mayor of Turin, Italy

Video of the debate

Citizen participation at local and regional level in Europe
Video of the debate

SPEAKERS AT THE DEBATE

Piero FASSINO, Mayor of Turin, Italy
Interview MediaBox



Nawel RAFIK-ELMRINI,
2nd Deputy Mayor of the City of Strasbourg, in charge of International and European relations, France

Marjan HAAK-GRIFFIOEN, Netherlands (R, EPP/CD)
Congress rapporteur on Citizen participation at local and regional level in Europe

OTHER DEBATE

Education for democratic citizenship – tools for cities
Presentation by the Rapporteur : Dario GHISLETTA, Switzerland (SOC)
Resolution
Report