Power and empowerment – The interdependence of democracy and human rights (Proceedings of the 3rd session of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, Stockholm/Sigtuna, 13-15 June 2007) – Pdf version

The end 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, 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”.

The role of political parties in the building of democracy contains the proceedings of the 2nd session of the Forum, held in Moscow in October 2006. The aim of the session was to reflect 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.