MED at European Forum Alpbach: Democracy at stake – What role for participatory policymaking?

During the annual European Forum Alpbach, MED network MPs gathered to discuss the current state and future of European democracy, particularly addressing the role of participatory politics.

New models of political representation and civic involvement are emerging and challenging estab­lished concepts and institutions. Transnational parties are beginning to form at the European level, citizen consultations are taking place across Eu­rope and next year’s European elections are set to transform the European party-political landscape.

How should national parliamentarians respond to these new developments and this rapidly changing environment? What can be ways of engaging a di­verse set of citizens while remaining true to recog­nized channels of decision-making? Do these new ideas hold the potential to make democracies more resilient or are they destabilizing societies?

Together with civil society experts, innovators in participatory politics as well as fellow parliamen­tarians, the Mercator European Dialogue side-meeting offered MPs the opportunity to share first-hand information, discuss new concepts around participatory democracy, and share the de­velopments from their own country. MPs came from across Europe, including Austria, the UK, the Netherlands, Romania, Germany, and Latvia.