Conferences and colloquies

Recommendation 1928 (2010)1

Democracy in Europe: crisis and perspectives

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1746 (2010) on democracy in Europe: crisis and perspectives, in which it notes with concern that the recent world economic crisis has accentuated symptoms of a crisis of democracy which have been present for some time now, including the lack of rules and regulations to help face the challenges of globalisation and increased disinterest of citizens in current institutionalised procedures of democracy.

2. The Assembly considers that the ensuing crisis in representation can be overcome through an enhanced process of participatory democracy and the development of a new culture of political responsibility in terms of responsiveness and accountability, as well as transparency on the part of those who govern.

3. Considering that the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs, be it at local, regional, national or European levels, is a human right and a fundamental political freedom, the Assembly has decided to undertake further reflection, in close consultation with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), with a view to elaborating an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) guaranteeing this right. It has also resolved to organise open public debates in the context of the drafting process of the new protocol before proposing a draft text to the Committee of Ministers, so that this process offers an opportunity to promote public discourse and raise awareness on the need to increase citizens’ active participation and ensure further involvement of all people in the conduct of public affairs.

4. The Assembly, recalling its earlier proposal in Resolution 1886 (2009) on the future of the Council of Europe in the light of its sixty years of experience, and reiterating that, among the three main pillars of the Council of Europe, the democracy pillar of the Organisation needs to be strengthened and to gain in visibility, recommends the Committee of Ministers to:

4.1. set up a Strasbourg Democracy Forum as an umbrella structure with a view to providing an international reference and a laboratory for new ideas and proposals in the field of democracy, as well as developing synergies among relevant Council of Europe structures and activities, such as the Forum for the Future of Democracy, the biennial Assembly debates on the state of democracy, the Venice Commission, the Summer University of Democracy and the Schools of Political Studies Network;

4.2. entrust to a high-profile personality, a sort of a delegate for democracy, the task of leading and animating the Strasbourg Democracy Forum, as well as disseminating, on a permanent basis, the Council of Europe’s message on democracy-related issues of major current interest.

5. The Assembly also invites the Committee of Ministers to contribute, along with other actors and in particular the European Union, to the elaboration of guidelines to regulate globalisation in full respect of human rights, including social rights, ecological imperatives and the rule of law.

1. Assembly debate on 23 June 2010 (24th Sitting) (see Doc. 12279, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Gross). Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 June 2010 (24th Sitting).

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