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E-democracy projects

Forum History


The Forum was established by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe  (Warsaw, May 2005), to strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens' participation.


Forum previous sessions


(Limassol, Cyprus, October)

Interdependence of democracy and social cohesion.

New: Proceedings

"Radical measures taken in many countries to try to balance public budgets are both necessary and understandable” but  “Countries are running a high risk of seriously undermining the European model of social cohesion.”  declared Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland while opening the Cyprus Forum.


(Yerevan, October)

Perspectives 2020 Democracy in Europe - Principles and Challenges



''The Council of Europe has a unique strategic role to play in strengthening good democratic governance at all levels in the European space''. Democracy, or rather good democratic governance, is now not only intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights but is also recognised as the most effective form of governance to ensure stability, sustainability and well-being.

 That was the main message of the 2010 Forum.




(Kyiv, October)

Electoral systems: strengthening democracy in the 21st century


 "In a genuine democracy, the citizen is sovereign and the voter decides" - that was the main message of the 2009 Forum, which highlighted the need for greater public involvement, with a view to increasing voter turnout and ensuring that all stages of public life are democratic..




(Madrid, October)

"E-democracy: who dares?"


The discussions addressed the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on democracy.




(Stockholm, June)

"Power and empowerment - The interdependence of democracy and human rights"


This event addressed issues such as the role and responsibilities of the opposition, representative democracy at the local and regional level, empowerment of the individual and non-discrimination, respect for freedom of expression and association for civil society, and fostering democracy, human rights and social networks.




(Moscow, October)

"The role of political parties in the building of democracy"


The Forum reflected on  the role and responsibilities of political parties in finding democratic solutions to contemporary challenges, the interaction between political parties and with other actors in the democratic process, and the building and strengthening of democratic institutions.



Launch meeting (Warsaw, November 2005)

"Citizens' participation"



The discussions addressed the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.


Previous projects


Democratic institutions work")



    Launching meeting of the
    Council of Europe Forum on the Future of Democracy
    Warsaw, Royal Castle, 3-4 November 2005

    - Programme -

    Theme of the meeting: “civic participation”
    Thursday, 3 November 2005

    2.30 p.m. Opening Session

    Welcoming – Stefan MELLER, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland
    Honorary Chair – Mr. Lech WAŁĘSA: “Democracy under way”

      Ambassador Joaquim DUARTE, Permanent Representative of Portugal at the Council of Europe, Chair of the Committee of Ministers
      Mr. René VAN DER LINDEN, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
      Mr. Giovanni DI STASI, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe
      Ms Maud DE BOER-BUQUICCHIO, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe: “The Council of Europe’s acquis in the field of democracy”

    Break (10 min.)

    3.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. First session

    Civic participation as a challenge for the future”

    Moderator: Mr. Adrian SEVERIN – Romania, member of PACE

    - Opening Keynote

      Prof. Timothy GARTON ASH, Oxford University

    - Plenary discussion

      Special discussants:
      o Mr. Ugo MIFSUD BONNICI, former President of Malta, European Commission for Democracy through Law („Venice Commission“);
      o Prof. Lena KOLARSKA-BOBIŃSKA, Institute of Public Affairs, Warsaw – Civic participation – key questions
      o Lyudmila GRYAZNOVA, Deputy Secretary General of the Congress of Democratic Forces of Belarus;

    - Conclusions (presented by the Moderator), remarks from participants

    7.30 p.m. Buffet dinner hosted by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, restaurant “Bistrot”, 2, Foksal str.

    Friday, 4 November 2005

    9.30 a.m. Second session

    Exchange of experiences and practices in the field of civic participation”

    Moderator: Prof. Jerzy HAUSNER, Poland

    Ms Annelise OESCHGER, President of the Council of Europe’s INGO Conference:
    Introductory remarks

    - Panel discussion: Some examples of current challenges and practical proposals

      (1) New developments in the field of e-democracy
      - Mr. Robert KRIMMER, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration

      (2) Engaging young people
      - Mr. James DOORLEY, Vice-President of European Youth Forum, Brussels

      (3) Democratic transformation: the Russian experience
      - Mr. Boris KUZNETSOV, CIRP, St. Petersburg, Russia

      (4) The Swiss experience with direct democracy
      - Mr. Andreas GROSS, member of PACE

      (5) Engaging citizens in deliberative processes and dialogue
      - Mr. Paul ROWSELL, UK Deputy PM Office: The UK experience

    - Plenary discussion

    - Conclusions (by the Moderator), remarks from participants

    12.00 p.m. Break

    12.30 p.m. Closing session: Conclusions and proposals

    Chair: Mr. Bogdan BORUSEWICZ, President of Polish Senate

      Prof. Dr. Gesine SCHWAN, Rector of Viadrina University, Frankfurt/Oder
      Closing Keynote

      Mr. Bogdan BORUSEWICZ, and Senator Andrzej WIELOWIEYSKI (PACE): Forum’s conclusions (by the Chair)

      Mr. Terry DAVIS, Secretary General of the Council of Europe:
      The Forum as a Process: Where do we go from here?

    1.30 p.m. Press briefing (Conference Hall) / Lunch, hosted by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.