7 November 2023 - 16.45-18.30  / Room 7 Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation FR/EN/kr

Unrestricted, unaccountable power leads to tyranny. Throughout the ages, the most successful democracies have separated governance into three distinct branches of power, executive, legislative and judicial branches, each having some form of checks and balances over the others. 

To many citizens, governments appear more distant and trust has been shaken in the effectiveness of the democratic process to ensure the best interests of citizens. The classical separation of power in these three branches, however, is a product of evolution, trial and error, which, quite legitimately, is still ongoing.  Democracy, to date the best mechanism known to humankind for maintaining peaceful societies, requires active stewardship in order to ensure that future generations may inherit it in an effective and healthy state. In this session we will examine the proposal to establish a fourth body of government, composed of ordinary citizens, possibly chosen by sortition, to serve alongside policy experts and to deliberate issues locked in political stalemates or requiring additional review. Deliberative process brings democracy to its essential roots, by asking citizens directly to propose policy ideas.  Should the introduction of deliberative democracy as a standard method of proposing new policies be encouraged? Can citizens use deliberative processes to overcome internal polarization within our societies or to prevent the breakdown of peaceful relations internationally?

Forum Talk 12: 4th branch of government

Full screen: ENFR / ORIGINAL

Palais de l'Europe, room 7 7 November 2023 (16.45-18.30)
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
MAKRI 2023


General Manager of the Democracy & Culture Foundation


Elina has worked as an independent, cross-border journalist and co-founder of media projects. Since 2014, she has worked closely with professionals on the creation of technological tools. She is the co-founder of Alpha + Omega, a data analysis platform to help math-challenged journalists and other professionals, as well as the co-founder of Oikomedia, a platform designed to help cross-border collaborations of media professionals. Prior to joining the Democracy & Culture Foundation, she was a Marie Curie fellow working at the intersection of cognitive science and journalism. She has conducted data investigations about water mismanagement as well as international migration. Born in Athens, Elina studied law in France, International and European law in Belgium and was trained on data journalism and computational reporting at the Columbia Journalism School in New York.


Byong-Jin AHN

Professor of the Global Academy for Future Civilisations, Kyung Hee University, Seoul

Republic of Korea

Byongjin Ahn is a professor at Global Academy for Future Civilization, Kyung Hee University in South Korea. He has been a guest commentator at Korea Broadcasting System(KBS) and opinion columnist for Joong Ang daily. He has received a ph.d at New School for Social Research in NY(Hannah Arendt Award for Ph.D. Dissertation). He is currently writing the book on the fourth branch of government based on the presentation at Athen Democracy Forum on September (preliminary title: From Democracy to Biocracy)  



President of Young European Federalists (JEF Europe)

Antonio Argenziano is the President of Young European Federalists (JEF Europe). He has a master’s degree in European Integration history. Before being elected as European President, he was Secretary General of JEF Italy. He is also a board member of the European Movement International. He worked as Public Affairs Manager at Euractiv Italy and then as Political and Strategic Communication Consultant. He has been a speaker to countless national and international events on European affairs and, among other things, in 2021 he has been nominated, by the Italian Government, as a member of the Scientific Committee on the Future of Europe.

PAPANDREOU George 2023


Former Prime Minister, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe




Director, Governance & Democratic Innovation, Make.org

Alexis Prokopiev is the Director of the Department “Governance and Democratic Innovation” at Make.org (an independent European civic tech organisation) since 2019. He leads the organisation's department in Paris and Brussels. Alexis Prokopiev also taught Economics at Sciences Po Paris and worked for the French National Assembly, as well as for several NGOs.



CEO of the European Capital of Democracy Non-Profit Organisation


Stefan Sindelar is Head of Operations at the Vienna-based Innovation in Politics Institute and CEO of the European Capital of Democracy Non Profit Organisation. After his studies of media technology and design, he started his professional career in Journalism, communication, and IT. Entering politics in 2013 with a successful campaign for the Austrian and European Parliament, he served as Managing Director for the Austrian Liberal’s Parliamentary Club and Party. His work experience spans the non-profit, start-up, business and political field. He has leadership skills in managing mixed and networked teams with a focus on developing disruptive products and growing innovative organisations.


Marilena-Valentina CIOBANU

Youth delegate


Valentina Ciobanu has been an activist for youth participation, youth rights, and democracy for more than 5 years, from the grassroots to the national and international level. In her current capacity as Vice President of the Romanian Youth Council, Valentina channels her energy towards advocating for the rights and interests of young people. She has developed the Manifesto for Increasing Youth Political Participation and the Youth Political Participation Ambassadors Programme, initiatives that bring together not only young individuals and NGOs but also decision makers, political organisations, public institutions and other relevant actors, aiming to educate and construct sustainable mechanisms and tools to facilitate meaningful youth participation in democratic processes and policy-making processes.


Achilles TSALTAS

President of the Democracy & Culture Foundation

United Kingdom

Achilles Tsaltas is president of the Democracy & Culture Foundation an independent, nonprofit organization. Born in Australia of Greek origin, he started his media career in 1989 in the advertising department at News Corporation. During his tenure, he launched the business magazine Business Asia, and relaunched the paper’s The Australian Magazine. He moved to Hong Kong in 1999 to join The International Herald Tribune as deputy managing director and in 2004, he moved to Paris as vice president, international circulation and served in a number of executive roles in his two decades of service with The New York Times Company, ultimately relocating to London to become vice president, international conferences in 2014. In 2019, Mr. Tsaltas established the Democracy & Culture Foundation. With a mission to empower society through citizen engagement and better governance, the Foundation develops, programs and convenes the two conferences he conceived at The Times – the Athens Democracy Forum and Art for Tomorrow.


Pierre BONNE