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The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by a huge array of public measures aiming to protect against and mitigate the consequences of the virus. While citizens have had to adjust to weeks of lockdown in their homes as a consequence of the emergency measures adopted by Member States, public institutions have been forced to move quickly to adapt their ways of working to a new and unprecedented scenario. These changes are particularly challenging for parliamentary institutions, as their functioning ...

Digital tools could create stronger connections between European citizens and the EU decision-making process and, by doing so, might contribute to reducing the EU democratic deficit. This report investigates what lessons can be drawn from local, national and European experiences of the use of digital tools for the functioning of EU decision-making procedures and institutions. For that purpose, a review of current literature on e-democracy and the European public sphere has been carried out; 22 local ...

Blockchain technology is of increasing interest to citizens, businesses and legislators across the European Union. This report is aimed at providing a point of entry for those curious about blockchain technology, so as to stimulate interest and provoke discussion around its potential impact. A general introduction is followed by a closer look at eight areas in which blockchain has been described as having a substantial potential impact. For each of these, an explanation is given of how the technology ...

Is blockchain the revolution in security and transparency that is needed to enable e-voting and, if so, what are the implications for the future of democracy? Despite the digitalisation of several important aspects of modern life, elections are still largely conducted offline, on paper. Since the turn of the century, e-voting has been considered a promising and (eventually) inevitable development, which could speed up, simplify and reduce the cost of elections, and might even lead to higher voter ...

How can the Internet contribute to the development and establishment of a genuinely European public (e-public)? What are good practices for e-participation in Europe and how can public organisations profit from opening up their processes to a wider audience (e-participation)? Is e-voting a realistic means to increase electoral turnout and what are the conditions for the success of e-voting? These are the main questions being dealt with in this report, which is the final report of the STOA-project ...

This paper is a short version of a “Green Paper” that the author wrote for the Council of Europe, with Alexandre Trechsel. It includes a theoretical introduction which lays out the contemporary dilemmas of “Western-Liberal- Representative Democracy” and the trends that are affecting it. While the focus is on the national level, much of the analysis applies even more strongly to the EU level. Among the 29 recommendations for reform in the Green Paper the author inserts a detailed treatment of those ...