Online Roundtable: “In defence of democracy in the EU political system”, September 26-27 (RSCAS-EUI, Italy)
Democracies around the world have been faced with a series of interrelated challenges in recent years and European democracies are no different. Events in the last two years have exacerbated many of the most troubling trends and continue to test different elements of democratic politics across the continent. Amidst the immense socio-economic and political consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU’s commitment to and support of democracy is more important than ever.
The challenge today for democracies in Europe and beyond is how to become more open and more resilient. Nevertheless, the unique constitutional arrangement of the European Union adds a level of complexity that warrants focused attention. Together with the need for effective climate action and a just energy as well as a digital transition, these crises have also raised the bar for better governance in the European Union (EU) political system. Forging an effective response will require innovation to reengage with the European electorate and consolidation to strengthen democratic institutions. It will also require greater promotion of the rule of law and greater protection for the kind of free speech that facilitates a rational political debate. This policy roundtable brings together politicians, policymakers, academics, and policy analysts to set an agenda for positive action. Speakers from across Europe, as well as, from across the political spectrum will come together to assess the way forward centred around 4 main themes:
- Innovating democracy: Citizens’ participation in the EU system after the Conference on the Future of Europe
- Consolidating democracy: Reform of the electoral system for the European Parliament and its right to initiate legislation
- Protecting democracy: How to defend and advance the rule of law within the European Union?
- Protecting democracy: How to safeguard rational political debate from disinformation, whilst respecting free speech?
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