25. November 2013

On 17 and 18 November a group of young Europeans met in Brussels to discuss the strengths and weakness of the current democratic system(s) with regards to the future challenges and to identifying the priorities for action.

The workshop was hosted by the King Baudouin Foundation as a part of the Foundation’s initiative to look for ways of breathing new life into democracy in Belgium. The participating young voices from FutureLab Europe came from a variety of European countries, both EU member and non-member states.

The ghost of (youth) unemployment, the disconnect between citizens and European Union, the welfare state retrenchment with rising inequalities and unsustainable demographics – all of these already strongly impact on people’s engagement with politics. In the near future, further increase in challenges can be expected in the field of broadly understood security, climate change and refugees, growth of radicalism and separatism. Are the democracies in Europe or on the European level well equipped to respond to these challenges?

There is a widespread understanding that the shift in ways in which people are engaged in civic and political life has not yet been grasped by the traditional institutions of representative democracy. The participants worked out several recommendations to improve and develop the current democratic models.

Download the event report from the workshop.