Direct democracy and participatory democracy can be, under certain conditions, a way of dealing with the citizen’s disengagement from representative politics. A range of other ways of involving citizens in governance has emerged, fuelled by web and social media applications: participatory budgeting and crowdfunding for government projects, for example, give community members a voice in the fiscal decision‑making processes and invite them to deliberate on the local authorities’ financial decisions. Citizen watchdogs are another relevant example of initiatives taken by citizens who wish to document a fact. They encourage both citizens to know more about their elected officials' conduct and the latter's responsiveness towards their votes, with the positive effect of reducing the level of corruption. Are these phenomena confined to a few pioneering cities or are they heralding a shift towards participatory democracy?

Cumuleo, / /, Belgium is a monitoring tool for the accumulation of political mandates. It aims to achieve greater, transparency and to fight against conflicts of interest and corruption. The site publishes all the mandates, functions and public or private professions exercised by the political representatives and certain senior Belgian officials.

Partidos Públicos, Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente, FCI, Chile

In a context of deep distrust and disaffection between citizens and political parties, Partidos Públicos emerges as an innovative proposal to strengthen this relationship. It seeks to push political parties to comply with greater transparency and the best democratic practices that citizens are demanding. This project aims to provide citizen participation tools and channels to strengthen transparency and accountability in political parties, through a digital platform for the publication and display of information on their finances, decision-making, organisational structure and relationship with other entities.

Vouliwatch: “Empowering Democracy”, Greece

Vouliwatch has developed an online interactive parliamentary monitoring platform which is equipped with a series of digital applications aiming at facilitating citizen control and monitoring over the Greek legislative process whilst enabling citizen participation and direct communication with their elected representatives. This is a legislative monitoring tool which records all votes that take place in parliament whilst breaking down legislation in layman’s terms. It includes profiles for all Greek MPs/MEPs where citizens can monitor their individual activities (including their financial interest statements) & question them publicly as well as send them their own policy recommendations (MPs responses are published on their profiles). it also features a comparative tool which analyses each political party’s stance on given policy areas. A news feed with the latest parliamentary news is also included, as well as access to and analysis of parliamentary data (including a budget tracker) in machine readable/open format.

Changing the dynamics of politics. Citizenship as an engine of change, Coalició Compromís, Spain

Coalició Compromís is a political party from the Spanish region of Valencia. They think that the best way to combat populism in politics is by promoting transparency and ethics in the performance of public institutions, together with stimulating the participation of citizens in order to address their disaffection withpolitics. The party is based on the idea of political openness both in terms of its organisational structure and decision-making processes. They aim to perform with the utmost transparency and encourage citizen’s debate through education, i.e. explaining how policies are developed, and exposing alternatives to involve citizens, in order to find a general consensus.  As a consequence, party officials, militants and sympathizers decided together on the list of candidates for elections, the public salaries of their representatives were published online, etc. Since they participate in the regional government, the regional Ministry of Transparency, Accountability, Participation and Cooperation has been founded. Its main aims are to ensure transparency of public activity and to promote citizen participation.

Organisational transformation though democracy innovation, PASOK, Greece

Throughout its 40 years, drastic transformations occurred in the party organisation of PASOK. The initiative “Organisational Transformation” introduced numerous actions promoting the Participatory functioning of the Movement. Among them, «Open Meetings» were established and organised at the local level, in close collaboration with local authorities and civil society organisations, with the aim of adopting consultation processes and participatory decision-making processes on issues of, mainly, local interest. These Open Meetings are not only open to the subscribed party members, but are also open to the whole citizenry.