The European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Karl-Renner Institut invite you to their book launch: Problems of Representative Democracy in Europe. A Challenge for Progressives. This launch will offer the possibility to discuss with European Commission Vice-President,Frans Timmermans.
The successful transformation of new member states and candidate countries to EU standards depends on the quality of their representative democracies and the state of their rule of law. Nevertheless, there are growing concerns about the state of democracy in Europe, in both East and West. Whether it is the rise of populist parties like the True Finns who came second of the elections yesterday, the anti-democratic mentality, a democratic malaise or the rejection of liberal democracy by Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, the number of threats is growing.
This is all the more alarming since the origins of representative democracy can be found in our continent. While there have been no attempts to overthrow democratic rule as such either in the EU or in countries that are (potential) candidates for membership, it has been harder than imagined to establish a strong political culture of pluralism, respect for opposition and free media in the Eastern and Central countries.
At the same time we have seen many voters in the old democracies turn against traditional politics. We observe also the end of the paradigm Left/Right. Finally, these changes of attitude also have an impact on the European integration process as such and on further EU enlargement starting from the Balkans.
Co-Editors of the book with Ernst Stetter (FEPS) and Sebastian Schublach (Karl-Renner Institut), Jan Marius Wiersma, former MEP and Vice President of the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity, will open the discussion and give the floor to European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans.
Entitled Problems of representative Democracy in Europe – A challenge for Progressives, the book presented next Friday is part of a research project called Enhancing democracy pre and post EU enlargement.
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