The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
This case study features a new initiative that aims to promote a whole new form of participatory democracy across the European Union (EU). Citizen initiatives that garner 1 million signatures across a wide range of Member States will be considered by the European Commission. This gives residents across the EU the direct ability to propose legislation and influence matters that concern the entire continent.
EuroPolis was organized in response to the "democratic deficit" critique leveled against European politics. Through deliberative polling, it explores how informed debate can improve European democracy.The participants were selected from among more than 4,000 European citizens from the 27 member states of the EU polled for their views on immigration, climate change and the EU between March and May 2009. The findings from the deliberative polling excercise were presented in the Residence Palace in Brussels on the 3rd of June 2009.