Breaking the invisible ceiling: Overcoming political obstacles to citizen-driven EU reform

Democracy Reform Conversations, YouTube, 30.04.2024

Online Briefing

Link to video on YouTube

The EU needs reform. The Conference on the Future of Europe and European Citizens Panels have demonstrated that citizens can be the driving force behind complex changes the EU must undergo, be it managing the poly-transition, preparing the EU for a potential enlargement to 30+ member states or pushing for the much-needed EU institutional and governance reform. Despite this potential, both EU and national decision-makers seem hesitant to fully leverage citizen participation. Participatory democracy in the EU is hitting an invisible ceiling that can only be broken if politicians and decision-makers at the European and national levels acknowledge and address the root causes blocking development.
This edition of the Democracy Reform Conversation delved into several crucial questions: What are the fundamental politico-institutional obstacles preventing the Union from getting serious about citizen participation, and how can they be overcome? How can citizens actively contribute to the reform of EU democracy and the Union’s governance model? What is the political roadmap toward citizens-led EU reform? What kind of novel participation instruments could the Union implement?
This is the fifth online event of the EU Democracy Reform Observatory’s “Democracy Reform Conversations”. The Observatory is a joint initiative of Bertelsmann Stiftung, European Policy Centre, King Baudouin Foundation, and Stiftung Mercator, which fosters debate on modernising European democracy.



Sandro Gozi, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe Group

Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Studies, European Policy Centre

Corina Stratulat, Associate Director & Head of the European Politics and Institutions Programme, European Policy Centre

Andrey Demidov, Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung


Moderator: Jacki Davis, Senior Adviser, European Policy Centre

Link to video on YouTube here

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