“The role of political parties in the building of democracy” (Proceedings of the 2nd session of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, Moscow, 18-19 October 2006) – Pdf version

The end the 20th century witnessed an unprecedented expansion of democracy on the European continent with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron curtain. Practically all countries in Europe today proclaim their commitment to the principles of pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law. At the same time, however, Europe’s democracies face serious problems such as steep decline in voter turnout, the decreasing influence of political parties and the rise of extremist movements.

The Forum for the Future of Democracy was set up by the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 2005) as a response to these problems and to develop ways to promote good practice among European democracies. It brings together all relevant actors (parliaments, governments, local and regional institutions, civil society and scholars) to “strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens’ participation”.

Power and empowerment – The interdependence of democracy and human rights contains the proceedings of the 3rd session of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, held in Stockholm/Sigtuna (Sweden) in June 2007. This session 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.