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Archives for democracy

The Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is a tragedy, yes, but a tragedy in the sense of ancient Greek theater, in which both sides are right and both wrong. The Irish “no” camp claims it wants a better deal, more democratic, with a directly elected foreign minister and president of the European Council (EU… » read more

(Executive Summary of the conclusions of the European Citizens’ Seminar held in Erfurt, Germany, 15-18 March 2008). With globalization, the world is becoming more and more complex and interconnected. In business, this complexity and interdependence are reflected through the increasing pressure of different stakeholders, internal and external to the firm. We believe diversity can promote… » read more

The headline screams “EU lobbyists wary of media, civil society” as the European Centre for Public Affairs (ECPA) present their annual ‘State of Public Affairs’ survey for 2008. Intrigued, I clicked through to learn more. The article highlights that 65 % of the respondents view the European Parliament as “more likely to be persuaded by… » read more

Trust is the word

Participative democracy initiatives at EU level present special logistical problems of language and geography. However, they share many of the same fundamental issues of usefulness and motivation with small scale, local initiatives. In the end, the success or failure of all such initiatives comes down to an issue of trust. Citizens must trust that their… » read more

Thoughts from The Centre’s “Polls Apart” Roundtable (20 February 2008) – Part II Since surveys alone cannot provide a complete or nuanced view of public opinion, they are best preceded or complemented by qualitative research. Samples are small and not necessarily random. So, opinions may not be representative of the broader public. But, since questions… » read more

Thoughts from The Centre’s “Polls Apart” Roundtable (20 February 2008) – Part I One way the “voice of the ordinary European” currently reaches EU policy makers is via opinion polling. The European Commission’s Eurobarometer surveys measure what Europeans know and how they feel about many topics. Sample sizes are large. Respondents are chosen randomly. Theoretically,… » read more

Enhancing stakeholder diversity in the Board room. Today, the major decisions in economic life are taken by people having followed the same academic and professional curriculum, and sharing the same interests and ideology, with a risk of dwindling legitimacy and of collective mistakes. What diversity and whose stakeholders’ interests should be represented in the Board… » read more

After the heated debate and consultations on the European Transparency Initiative (ETI) we are now in the phase of consultations on its prominent element – the Code of Conduct for interest representatives (consultations close on 15/02/2008). The draft code proposed by the Commission seems fairly minimalist as it quotes very vast principles of “openness, transparency, honesty and integrity” that shall be binding for those (only!) who choose to register as lobbyists. There can be doubts whether it will bring more transparency to interest representation towards the EU Institutions.

ECAS blog is started

Beginning of a European public sphere? new exciting tool of communication? the platform to get the debate about Europe going? We jump in! In this blog we would like especially to discuss EU communication policy and the citizens’ participation methods. If you want to see our previous work, please visit our website. We also invite… » read more

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