Abels, Gabriele. (2009) Citizens' deliberations and the EU democratic deficit. Is there a model for participatory democracy? TAIF Nr. 1/2009. [Working Paper]
There is a longstanding debate on the EU’s democratic deficit. Recently, the EU has responded to this by, for example, including the idea of participatory democracy in the Lisbon treaty. This corresponds to first experiments with means for citizens’ participation that are rooted in the idea of participatory and deliberative democracy and supported by the EU Commission. In contrast to interest group politics, these attempts aim at including ‘normal’, i.e. non‐interested and unorganized citizens into policy‐making. Examples of such ‘democratic experimentalism’ are the citizens’ deliberation ‘Meeting of Minds’ or the European Citizens’ Consultations on Europe’s future. The objective of the paper is to discuss these models and their specific problems against the background of the general democratic deficit debate. The key questions are: Are these examples ‘best practices’? What are their effects? And what can we learn from them for the possibilities of participatory governance in the EU?
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