Old certainties about the inevitability of democratic progress are as much under threat from illiberal populists in established democracies as from brittle coalition governments that try and hold the centre. While representative democracy remains the best available form of government, and the one preferred by most EU citizens, satisfaction with how it plays out varies greatly across the continent. Among the perceived weaknesses are high levels of political corruption, low resilience to disinformation, and out-of-touch governing elites.
Yet there is some hope that direct channels for citizens to express their concerns and preferences, fact-based deliberation in representative bodies and robust mechanisms to hold governments to account can help save European democracy from the onslaught of populism.
In a contribution to “Deliberative Democracy in the EU: Countering Populism with Participation and Debate”, Tuomas Iso-Markku makes the case that EU decision-making requires greater transparency in order to move forward.
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