Public discourse around EU politics has many flaws. All too often, citizens and media alike engage too late or not at all. We will show how EU-democracy can be revived by focusing on a concrete legislative process and using innovative forms of information processing, storytelling and networking.
Europe needs our idea because our project will explain how the EU policy-making process works and how citizens can influence it. Dynamic public debates around EU politics fail too often. The political fight for the best EU policy is rarely visible. Many citizens are unfamiliar with the decision making processes and responsibilities, and neither politicians nor political parties have strong incentives to change that. We need to create lively debates around specific EU policy issues. Taking a networked cross-partisan approach to link diverse opinions to each other, we aim to translate a general interest in specific issues into an interest for the EU level: Our information and debating tools will clarify the European legislative process and enable citizens to voice their interests.
If our proposal is selected, a year from now we will have created an easy-to-understand tool for understanding EU-decision making processes and getting involved in EU politics. We will be one step closer to conveying the European level of decision-making as an integral part of democratic life. A beneficiary of our idea will have a greater understanding of his or her (representatives’) ability to influence political decision-making processes, and will hopefully be less likely to blame “Brussels” for unwanted political outcomes. Our toolkit for visualizing and understanding decision-making processes will be accessible to others interested in European legislative processes.
1: Identify a current EU policy measure to debate on;
2: Design a user-friendly online mapping of the legislative process, showing relevance, responsibilities, issues, political positions, upcoming (scheduled) events;
3: Build a cross-partisan network of decision makers, stakeholders, experts and media partners, including rapporteurs in the EP;
4: Initiate and organize a meaningful discussion process around the key issues – online and offline. Map the debate, distill users’ opinions and communicate results to relevant political stakeholders and the public;
5: Evaluate the pilot process and create a toolkit applicable to future policy-making (information transfer, story-telling, network building etc.), give recommendations towards dynamic debates around EU politics.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
We'd love to collaborate with others in the Advocate Europe network! And of course we're very open to advice, comments or lessons around visualizing or clarifying EU policy-making processes.