Other projects

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")



Forum for the Future of Democracy - Our aims


  The Forum was established with the aim of strengthening democracy, political freedoms and citizens' participation through the exchange of ideas, information and examples of best practices. It is a multi-partner process which aims to strengthen transversal understanding of the issues under review and foster cross-sectoral approaches.


Its specificity lies in bringing together high-level representatives of governments, parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society with a view to strengthening democracy, political freedoms and citizens’ participation in member states.


The proposals resulting from the Forum's discussions about possible future action contribute to enhancing Council of Europe's work and achievements in the field of democracy.


(left) Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland - (right) H.E. Demetris Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus


strengthening representation and democratic participation through public dialogue and civic engagement"

7th session of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, Limassol (Cyprus) 13-14 October

Website of the Cyprus Forum 2011

Welcome page

Forum Conclusions

Programme: Pdf version - Word version (incl. speeches/presentations)

Council of Europe Bibliography on social cohesion

All documents



Council of Europe: Don’t sacrifice social cohesion in financial crisis

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland opened the Forum for the Future of Democracy with the acknowledgment that  “radical measures taken in many countries to try to balance public budgets are both necessary and understandable.” But he also stressed: “Countries are running a high risk of seriously undermining the European model of social cohesion.” 

The two-day forum invited young people who are active in peaceful youth protests, from the “Indignados” to “Génération précaire” for an open dialogue with other civil society representatives.

 (More in press release)

Forum Plenary session


The Forum outputs are expected to contribute to the 2012 Forum session and recommendations for further action by the Council of Europe and other stakeholders in the fields of democracy and social cohesion.

Key documents

. Forum Mission statement

. Forum guidelines

. Conclusions of previous Forum


. Warsaw Declaration

. Parliamentary Assembly Resolution & Recommendation

Council of Europe partners

Forum Stakeholders

. Committee of Ministers

. Parliamentary Assembly

. Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

. Conference of INGOs


Other partners

. Venice Commission

. Schools of Political Studies (incl. Summer University for Democracy)

. Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level

. Education for democratic citizenship and human rights

Forum process

Steering Board meetings





Eighth debate

Nicolay Petrov

on Over-managed Democracy and its Limitations’  


Background publications


The future of democracy in Europe - trends, analyses and reforms

This publication addresses the forces in action in our European societies and both the "challenges and opportunities" they represent for democracy. It also analyses the relation of democratic "actors and processes", in relation to "challenges and opportunities" and to the intrinsic tendencies of the practice of "real-existing" democracy. It concludes by proposing twenty-eight reforms, that are intended to make democratic institutions work better and bring democracy closer to the will of the people.

More ...


Developing democracy in Europe

This publication argues that, in expanding its acquis, the Council of Europe should consider clarifying and bringing together the values and basic principles that it seeks to articulate, through the diversity of its instruments. The Council should also explore the current historical reasons which have led to varying interpretations of the acquis and which have given rise to some very different practices in the member states. It will be the Council of Europe's task to reflect upon new directions which democracy should take in the future which will help accommodate these changes.

More ...


Reflections on the future of democracy in Europe

This publication contains major contributions to the conference which marked the end of the three-year integrated project "Making democratic institutions work". This conference was aimed at debating proposals for democratic reform and covered a broad range of topics, including: more inclusive elections; the financing of political parties; deliberation mechanisms, popular initiatives and referendums; and, in particular, how modern communication technologies can affect the democratic process.


Useful links


. European Commission



. United Nations

. Community of Democracies