Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

Afdrukken

The premier Global Forum on Direct Democracy took place in Aarau, Switzerland in October 2008. It brought together practitioners, activists and professionals from across the globe and featured a world tour of direct-democratic hotspots. Special thematic forums and public events covered educational issues, developments in North America, Latin America and Asia, as well as the importance of initiatives and referendums in the European integration process. While the 2009 Forum was taking place in Korea/Asia, the 2010 is scheduled to take place in San Francisco and the 2011 in Santiago de Chile.

 

 In recent years, many states around the world have introduced direct-democratic procedures and plebiscites; in Europe, there has been a massive increase in the use of popular rights since 1989, and within the framework of the European Union, consideration is being given to the first ever implementation of a transnational instrument of direct democracy - the so-called European Citizens’Initiative which is in fact an agenda initiative. Since 1990, initiative and referendum as well as plebiscite procedures have been introduced in nearly all the countries of Latin America; in Asia, too, there is a growing tendency towards introducing direct democracy which entitles citizens to take part in decision-making on substantive political issues.

As a result, there is a growing focus, not only within politics, but also in the fields of administration, academia, media and civil society, on the qualitative aspects of modern democracy and questions are being asked about the potential and limits of modern direct democracy both from a legal and practical point of view. The Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy gathers professionals from politics, government, academia, civil society, business and media, and is hosted by IRI, a special think-tank on citizens’rights, together with many of its partners including the Korea Democracy Foundation.

This global process explores the grounds for a worldwide network and aims to achieve various goals, which include:

  • preparing a global inventory of the procedures and praxis of citizens’rights;
  • launching a public debate on the potential and the limits of direct democracy within the process of European integration;
  • presenting ideas and proposals for a global curriculum and agenda in the fields of education and research;
  • exploring the foundations and next steps for the establishment of a World Democracy Forum, a new permanent meeting place for the development of global modern direct democracy.