Ramp up ambition or a leap into the void – The Conference on the Future of Europe and the participatory democracy challenge

Research Paper by Domenico Bovienzo



The Conference on the Future of Europe brought to the attention of the public eye the divergent views of EU institutions and member states on the involvement of citizens in European decision-making processes. A coordinated European E-participation infrastructure might be one among the possible solutions to shorten the democratic deficit in Europe.

This paper delves into the heart of the academic and policy debate surrounding the democratic deficit and participatory democracy within the EU. A combination of bibliometric and text analysis is used to shed light on the complexities of the EU's democratic landscape and highlight the recent efforts undertaken to ensure its legitimacy, responsiveness, and effectiveness. Particular attention is placed on the discourses before and after the Conference on the Future of Europe, which brought into focus the differing interests of EU institutions and individual member states. The outcomes of this analysis propose a framework to further integrate e-participation into the current EU participatory framework through the combination of online and offline instruments.


About the author

Domenico Bovienzo is a PhD candidate in Science and Management of Climate Change at Ca’ Foscari University (Italy) and he is also a junior research fellow in the RAAS Division at Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC).

#participatory democracy #democratic deficit #e-participation