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EU Democracy Reform Observatory

The EU Democracy Reform Observatory is a joint initiative by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the European Policy Centre, the King Baudouin Foundation, and Stiftung Mercator that aims to foster debate and discussion on modernising European democracy and provide recommendations on how to make democracy and decision-making more legitimate, participatory, and effective in the EU.

In a context both set and shaped by the Conference on the Future of Europe and the watershed moment of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Observatory will:

  • Seek to advance discussion on the role of participatory democracy in the EU, its connection to representative democracy, and better instruments of citizen participation.
  • Reflect on how proposals to reform the EU, brought about by the Zeitenwende, relate to and address the broader state of European democracy.
  • Support EU institutions and decision-makers with fresh and outside-of-the-box thinking.
  • Spark and shape ideas about modernising European democracy through in-depth research, analysis, and debate.

The Project follows on from the Conference Observatory initiative.



Citizen participation / DISCUSSION PAPER
Participatory democracy at the EU level: How to break the invisible ceiling?
By Corina Stratulat , Janis A. Emmanouilidis - 11/03/2024
Citizen participation / REPORT
Assessing the European Citizens' Panels: Greater ambition needed
By Johannes Greubel , Perle Petit , Andrey Demidov - 06/09/2023


Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Studies
Institutional reform, poly-crisis, differentiated integration, enlargement, reform of economic governance
Associate Director and Head of European Politics and Institutions Programme
EU enlargement, Western Balkans, democracy, citizen participation, populism, political parties
Head of the Transnationalisation Programme & Connecting Europe Project Leader
EU Governance, EU institutions, democracy, Germany, European elections, EU reform
Project Assistant
Transitional justice, civil society engagement, gender-based violence, youth participation

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