New Public's Signals Research
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New Public "spent two years reviewing the literature and talked to over 100 experts from disciplines ranging from social psychology to urban planning about the qualities of flourishing public, or semi-public, spaces" for their Building better digital public spaces report. The goal: "to support engineers, designers and builders who w…

Don’t let the Conference on the Future of Europe turn into another weird uncle - VoxEurop
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"Europe deserves a forum where passionate Europeans share, debate and package ideas into policy proposals their fellow Europeans can vote on in 2024." But the CoFoE simply shows the hallmarks of previous efforts, like "the “New Narrative for Europe”, a kind of weird uncle to the Conference on the Future of Europe" created by Ba…

QAnon shows that the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump - Columbia Journalism Review
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With more than a dozen congressional candidates appearing on ballots in November, Qanon is mainstream. While it looks like a lot of other conspiracy theories, this research provides a fascinating look at how the conspiracy's "Bakers" co-create their knowledgescape."QAnon doesn’t simply offer readers insider insight into current…

Elites have failed us. It is time to create a European republic
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the current crisis is drawing Europeans further apart and not closer together... divisions grow... between east and the west on democracy and the rule of law, or between the north and the south on economic solidarity... Europe dies when it just shrugs its shoulders at nation-first politics ... not a single event, but rather a process ... not wit…

Conference on the future of Europe: Let civil society have its say!
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We are a community of academics coming from different disciplines ... closely studied and contributed to previous (failed) institutional attempts ... to rethink the EU ... express our deepest concerns about the many unintended consequences stemming from ... the Conference on the future of Europe... raising expectations it can’t easily deliver on, …

HOUSE: Dems roll out sweeping environmental justice bill -- Thursday, February 27, 2020 --
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House Democrats ... environmental justice bill, a novel collaborative effort between lawmakers and local groups ... used ... PopVox to allow disparate environmental justice groups around the country to comment on the legislation... also met with hundreds of groups and hosted a daylong environmental justice summit on Capitol Hill...environmental ju…

We’ve got problems – but talks on Europe’s future must not be a Big Moan - Friends of Europe
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we’re headed for a miserable 24 months of purple prose, tediously long sermons and unneeded – and unheeded – speeches and moralising... a ‘Big European Moan’... Let’s capitalise on this rather jolly mood... minimising the institutional hijack and confusion ...European Parliament... traditional organisational blueprint ... plenaries, steering commi…

A ‘Conference on the future of EU’, what next? EU elections 2024 –
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‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ will open this spring... will not be enough... also... a real democratic debate on the final text, so that it can be followed up... if there is to be a reform of the Treaties... to be ratified in all Member States...Referenda are ... not suitable for the ratification of a new treaty... not allow a debate on its…

Policy Brief: Future of Democracy (pdf)
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to make participatory democracy a reality, it is essential to avoid only paying lip-service to the idea of participation — and give citizens a real say...European federalists are hoping to gain momentum for treaty change. Many member states are afraid of that very outcome...Citizens’ participation is being tested out far more commonly across Europ…

The EU won’t fix its democratic deficit with another top-down ‘conference’ | Alberto Alemanno | Opinion | The Guardian
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Europe needs a new mechanism for involving citizens, not another talking shop chaired by the Guy Verhofstadt... By raising expectations it can’t easily deliver on, it risks eroding citizens’ trust...won’t directly prepare treaty change... a preparatory process ... could lead the European council ... to initiate them... this time the conference is …

Thread by @alemannoEU: "How the Conference on the future of Europe will look like...

How the Conference on the future of Europe will look like? ... it's the European Parliament ... to offer 1st blueprint... in essence a Constitutional Convention model PLUS... 'plus' is so tiny that fails to capture ... vivacity of EU civil society ...prepare a set of “concrete recommendations” that may be turned into legislative and…

Has EU Reform Ended Before It Began? - Berlin Policy Journal - Blog
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“Conference on the Future of Europe,”... if the commission and national governments get their way, it may be a useless exercise... the European Parliament... would create ... citizens’ assemblies ... of up to 300 people each... give citizens specific questions to wrestle with... should result in major changes in how the EU works... resembles the …

Icelandic Citizen Engagement Tool Offers Tips for U.S.
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Better Reykjavic platform ... encourage thoughtful debate for government improvement among citizens while avoiding vitriolic arguments...a new debate system with simple tweaks: Citizens must list arguments for and against ideas, and instead of replying to each other directly, they can only down-vote things ... forces users to create standalone poi…

DECiDe Feldtest European Alternatives | HIIG
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Europeans feel disenfranchised ... alternative forms of active citizen engagement in democracy must be experimented with... Our approach combines ... random sample voting (RSV) with secure digital identities... if anyone in Europe, from the European parliament to a local government or NGO, wants to find out how people in a certain region feel abou…

Can Europe kick it with the kids?
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POLITICO asked eight of the European Parliament's youngest members... how do you make the EU more relevant to young people?... " letting them into the decision-making process and giving them a better sense of what it is they do"... "The EU is designed to be impervious to citizens’ influence... led by an unelected Commission and its Parliament has …

Improving Constituent Engagement – POPVOX
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a system that could bring some structure to the legislative advocacy ecosystem — listing all bills online; organizations and constituents would create accounts and post input in a structured, transparent way with outward anonymity but real names and addresses sent with messages to lawmakers in a way that could be easily processed by offices... th…

From #EP2009 to #EP2019: a lost decade?
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It’s taken me over ten years to move from enthusiasm, through frustration into a Zen-like state where I no longer blog about EU comms. But when the Eurobloggers called, I had to answer ;)- my link in the #EU09vs19 blog chain …

The EU vote isn’t just about Westminster – we need grassroots campaigns too | Mike Galsworthy | Opinion | The Guardian
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There are many grassroots communities emerging with vital understandings of the importance of continued EU membership... an agile swarm of passionate activist communities can run rings around a top-down Westminster-based operation and engage voters whom politicians cannot reach.... Such is the multifaceted nature of our EU membership that a single…

The European Citizens' Consultations - Evaluation report by Paul Butcher and Corina Stratulat
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The European Citizens’ Consultations (ECCs) are a new experiment in improving the quality of democracy at the EU level by giving European citizens the possibility to express and exchange their opinions about the Union and its future.... This report presents the results of the research and analysis... the member states have stuck to the flexibilit…

Creative, Local, Young: what do Europe's young superheroes need?
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A workshop proposal for EuroPCom 2018 with @albawhitewolf, Mike Galsworthy (@Scientists4EU) and the original Captain Europe, reposted to Facebook by popular demand.

Have your say | Policies, information and services
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Contribute to EU policy and law-making by giving your feedback on Commission initiatives as they take shape. You can also make suggestions on simplifying and improving existing laws. Subscribe to receive notifications on topics or initiatives of interest to you.  

More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked
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organic, authentic voices in the public debate — more than 99% of which are in favor of keeping net neutrality — are being drowned out by a chorus of spambots.

Three steps to engage Europeans with the EU
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Third of several posts written in reaction to Luc van den Brande’s Reaching out to EU Citizens: A New Opportunity. Sets out the public policy participation model first presented at EWRC 2017, and sets up the fourth.

Learning from #EUSuperGirl & Luc van den Brande (Top3ics, December 2017)
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I’ve recently published five posts on three interrelated ideas, two projects one report and a workshop. That happened because the competition brought a Brussels Bubble Outsider to Brussels. Which happens to be one principle of the participation model I presented at the EWRC workshop. Full circle.

Does the Brussels Bubble care enough?
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Engaging Europeans with the EU requires a new Brussels Bubble culture - fourth of several posts written in reaction to Luc van den Brand’s Reaching out to EU Citizens: A New Opportunity.

Chatbot Conversation: Digital Democracy by Design – Chatbots Magazine
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Chatbots are the digital democratizer of our day... natural, conversational interaction ... enabling participation ... for everyone... At the heart of creating chatbot ease of use is language design...

Crowdfunding and Civic Society in Europe: A Profitable Partnership?

CFPs also have the capacity to help foster and strengthen non-parliamentary democratic structures and practices. As such, they should be supported and encouraged as part of a framework of further European democratization and civic integration.

‘Does it improve democratic quality?’

give ourselves the following assignment: Government engagement must contribute to the quality of democracy.... provides a solid foundation for the design and execution of ... communication and participation forms and processes... an angle to critically review ... collaboration formats and tools. Participation is not an end in itself; reinforcing …

How Openness can transform society
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“Governments in Europe have been spending money for years on improving the availability of services online, and uptake was always below expectations... citizens didn’t want to use the online platform. The idea was to digitise a process without improving it.”... there is a much bigger prize ... an opportunity to use the internet as a platform for…

Workshop report: better EUropean communities & public policy participation
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Resources and first thoughts from my recent ‘EU communities & policy participation’ workshop at the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC).

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