Workshop 1: Multilevel Sustainable Democracy in Europe

Time: 14:00-17:00, room JDE 62

Organised by:

European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), International Association Rurality-Environment-Development (RED), European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) and EESC Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (FRRL)


Over the past few years, the surge in populism and disinformation across Europe has borne witness to citizens' disengagement from and loss of trust in the governing institutions. In order to fight against the rise in extreme votes, and to breathe new life into citizen participation it is crucial to reconnect the political and institutional sphere to the citizens. In this process, Digital democracy, through all its different challenges and opportunities, plays a fundamental role in the link between EU citizens and their engagement.

The first discussion panel of the workshop will focus on the different initiatives that promote democracy at all levels: local and national, rural and urban, online and offline. This holistic approach is vital to the wellbeing of democracy, as inclusion of and engagement with all citizens is key in countering populist trends.

The second part of the workshop will explore the different elements that are important in order to ensure sustainable democracy in the digital era. While digital technologies represent a great opportunity to foster citizens' engagement with democratic processes, they also influence the way in which citizens access information that could shape their ideas in the public sphere. The panel will explore the potential of e-participation in reconnecting citizens to the political sphere as well as considering the risks of accessing information online.


14:00 – 15:30 Panel 1: Promoting democracy at different levels

Moderator: Gérard Peltre, President of Rurality – Environment – Development


  • Benoit Lutgen, Member of the European Parliament, EPP Group
  • Karolina Dreszer-Smalec, Vice-president of the FRRL group, European Economic and Social Committee
  • Assya Kavrakova, Executive Director, European Citizen Action Service ECAS, intervention on Populism in Non-Metropolitan Areas in Europe
  • Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General, European Association for Local Democracies (ALDA)

Panel 2: Sustainable democracy in the digital era



  • Dmytro Khutkyy, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute: The potential of e-participation for the sustainability of democracy in Europe
  • Ken Godfrey, Executive Director, European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) (him or one of his colleagues, tbc)
  • Jean-François Maljean, Project manager - Contrat de Quartier Durable, Municipality of Etterbeek (tbc)
  • Beyond political campaign: what are the next priorities for tackling online disinformation?



Work organisation


Workshop 1: Multilevel Sustainable Democracy in Europe