Democracy and participation, Using ICT (information and communication technologies) for enhancing democratic legitimacy

Digital Identity, Citizenship &Democracy in Europe


Who is behind this?

Prof. Dr. Dr. Ingolf Pernice

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)


Who is joining forces?

Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)


The Humanized Internet (THI)


Düsseldorf Institute for Internet und Democracy (DIID)


Further partners: UCD Centre for Human Rights', (Ireland) || Institut de Recherche Informatique Fondamentale, (France) || procivis (Switzerland)

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

There is a deep and broad gap between citizens and governing bodies in the EU. EU citizens must have more voice in politics. ICT’s offer ways to make the EU a living democracy. E-voting can intensify control of EU policies by citizens. Their authentication as voters can be ensured by a digital European identity established on the basis of blockchain technology. Random-Sample Voting (RSV) is one possible tool for cost-effective polling and participation. Other tools are to be considered.

Where will your idea take place?

While the project focuses on the entire EU, the Ruhr area could be good for a first field test.

Why does Europe need your idea?

Digital identity means that the citizen has control over her own data, though it may build upon the national ID of the EU citizen respectively. It enhances European identity, it opens access to the e-voting systems at EU level and so facilitates active citizens’ participation in political processes.

What is your impact?

A system will be available using blockchain technology for establishing digital identity. It is a basis for e-voting and -polling that is complementary to, and possibly also facilitating EU elections and so offer a new tool for closer interaction among citizens and EU institutions.

How do you get there?

We strive at developing a prototype for e-voting and e-polling based upon digital identity to be tested in a commune of the Ruhr-Gebiet to which our partner DIID has already established contacts & experiences on online participation. We combine existing technologies (e.g., blockchain-based identity solutions, Random-Sample Voting, e-participation platforms) to create a secure, private, easy-to-use and inclusive system that fosters European citizens' participation in European political processes.

What is your story?

European identity and more active participation of citizens in EU politics is wanted. We believe that people must take ownership of the EU. European digital identity and e-voting would allow us to develop more democratic co-responsibility in European politics and so become “sovereign” EU citizens.

Who are you doing it for?

It is for the citizens of Europe, we all are the beneficiaries. The audience and stakeholders will first be the EP and governments as well as civil society. We call for common efforts of academics, engineers and politicians to make this tool for enhanced democratic legitimacy in the EU a reality.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

If there are similar ideas or initiatives on the way, we would be happy to join efforts. There may be experience with blockchain or e-voting systems that helps us making the project a success. Critique, questions and additional ideas are most welcome.


Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society _ HIIG



Idea created on Jan. 18, 2018
Last edit on May 23, 2018