Nowadays, growing inequalities and precarisation of living conditions are questioning the functioning of democracy. How can people living in poverty make their voices heard in polarised societies, where more than 40% of assets and 25% of revenues are held by 10% of the population?
Since 2011, grass root movements have emerged all over Europe to criticize the current polarization of wealth and power and to demand for more democracy. While the Indignados Movement in Spain asks for a “Real Democracy”, the Occupy Movements that have started with Wall Street in the US criticizes the concentration of wealth in the hand of the 1% of the population and calls for empowering the 99% left. Similar movements have also appeared in Germany, the UK, Greece, Italy and other European countries.
In parallel, practices and experiences of participatory and deliberative democracy have been developed in several towns and regions of Europe. They aim at providing space to those who are generally voiceless in the traditional representative system and at giving to citizens a broader possibility to have a direct impact on the design of policies. What are these practices?
This section aims at presenting some of the movements and experiences in Europe that are currently pushing towards a more horizontal way of approaching politics, making that the voice and the dignity of every person is taken into consideration in the decision making process.
Picture by Fito Senago (Creative Commons)
Intermediary platforms or institutions
Participatory and deliberative processes
All Actions and Policies
"Youth for the Future" is a project aimed at increasing the participation in decision-making, concepts of democracy and active citizenship of youth refugees arriving in Sweden with their families.
A Város Mindenkié (The City is For All) is a grassroots organisation mainly composed of homeless people fighting for their rights and dignity.
Workshops to raise awareness among high school students in order that they identify and deconstruct stereotypes and misconceptions