Launch meeting of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, Warsaw, 3-4 November 2005 – Speeches delivered - Pdf version

The end of the last century saw an unprecedented expansion of democracy on the European continent with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Today, practically all countries in Europe proclaim their commitment to the principles of pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law. At the same time, Europe’s democracies face serious problems, such as the steep decline in voter turnout, the decreasing influence of political parties and the rise of extremist movements.

The need to propose effective responses to these problems and promote exchanges of good practice amongst European democracies was recognised at the highest level during the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, held in May 2005 in Warsaw. This led to the creation of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, which brings together all relevant actors (parliaments, governments, local and regional institutions, civil society and academics), at all levels, to strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens’ participation.

The first forum was held in November 2005 and focused on the topic of citizens’ participation. This booklet brings together the speeches delivered at the forum and should be of interest to anyone concerned with the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.