Increasing the level of input from civil society and citizens to guide public decisions can be one way of combating the new challenges that have been facing our representative democracies, such as the decorrelation between citizens’ preferences and decisions taken by public authorities, the decreasing electoral turnout and trust in public authorities.
The Georgian Presidency and the Council of Europe have convened an International Conference on Civil Participation in Decision-Making on 6 and 7 May 2020 to identify innovative and successful experiences of civil engagement at local, regional and national level and to highlight and promote the unique work of the Council of Europe in the area.
This conference was originally foreseen to be held in Strasbourg on 6 March 2020 and was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Under the current exceptional context, this basic assumption has not changed but it has gained in relevance. This is why the Georgian Presidency and the Council of Europe have decided to maintain this important and particularly timely event in the proposed on-line format.