International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

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Civil dialogue and participatory democracy in the practice of the European Union institutions

The European Union is at its core a model of transnational governance based inter alia on democracy and the rule of law. There are two key findings of our survey: On one hand, that civil dialogue is based on the primary or constitutional law of this Union and addresses the specific challenges of transnational democracy. On the other hand, that implementation remains a challenge. Our survey and mapping of its results, legal basis and other relevant data clearly show that the status quo can still stand considerable improvement, as was stated repeatedly by the EESC. Nonetheless, in the area of “vertical dialogue” we were able to ascertain significant silver linings: most notably the openness of DG Agri (ahead of other DGs) and its approach of careful be-legalization of the dialogue’s framework. Nonetheless, we find ourselves in agreement with the Ombudsman’s call for a rigid conflict of interest policy, reviewing and monitoring scheme. Based on our findings, we present a roadmap towards a single open online tool in order to save money, gain broad compliance and ultimately address the ongoing challenge of implementing the requirements of Art 11 paragraph 1 and 2 TEU