The Double Challenge of Modern Democracy
Within just a few decades the number of countries across Europe and the world which have some form of direct-democratic process has doubled. Moreover, more than half of all nationwide referendums held since the French Revolution in 1789 have taken place in the last 25 years.
And that's still not all. In many regions of the world, but especially so in Europe, politics has become a transnational affair, placing a question mark over the reach of traditional nation-state based systems of checks and balances. This is the double challenge of modern democracy: ways and means of being involved as both political agenda-setters and decision-makers have to be deepened and extended.
Deepened in the sense that direct-democratic instruments have to complement the indirect ones: that initiative and referendum rights have to be introduced in addition to elections. And secondly, that those participative and direct rights have to be extended to the transnational level, for example within the European Union.
This double challenge of development has to be backed up, assisted and supported by a comprehensive informational, educational and analytical expertise - which is precisely why we founded and established the Initiative & Referendum Institute, Europe's Global Direct Democracy Think-Tank!